GCC, UK co-launch free trade talks.

Riyadh, The Gulf Observer: Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Dr. Nayef Al Hajraf highlighted the importance of the friendly relations between the GCC states and the United Kingdom (UK) in serving the common interests of both sides.

Addressing the opening session of the first stage of the GCC-UK free trade talks on Monday, Dr. Al Hajraf voiced hope that the talks would lead to an ambitious Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and open new horizons for joint investment, according to a GCC Secretariat press release.

The joint statement, signed with British Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan on 22nd June, laid the groundwork for launching the negotiations today, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) quoted Dr. Al Hajraf as saying.

Leaders of the GCC member states believe that these negotiations would deepen the strategic partnership with the UN in all economic, trade and investment fields, he added.

The first stage of the talks, being held via video link, continues until 25th August.