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Within the framework of the meetings held between the two sides during the UN General Assembly (New York), a meeting was held on 14 November 2001 between a GCC delegation headed by H.E. Sheikh Mohammad bin Mubarak Al-Khalifah, Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, President of the session of the GCC Ministerial Council, and a delegation of PRC headed by H.E. the Chinese Foreign Minister. During that meeting, the two sides discussed a number of topics of mutual interest, affirmed the deep relations between them, the need to develop such relations, and increase trade and investment. In this connection, the Supreme Council (89th session, December 2003) agreed to launch FTA negotiations between the GCC States and the P.R.C.
At the end of the visit made to the PRC by Their Excellencies, the GCC Ministers of Finance and H.E. the Secretary General on 6 July 2004, the two sides signed a Framework Agreement on Economic Cooperation that provided for initiating FTA negotiations.
The first round of negotiations was launched at the headquarter of the GCC Secretariat General on 23-24 April 2005, and then followed by other rounds of negotiations and technical meetings. The last round of negotiations was held in the July 2009.