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  HE GCCSG: The China-GCC Forum for Industries and Investment Aims to Deepen Cooperation in the Investment and Industrial Fields, and Comes as an Outcome of the First GCC-Chinese Summit Held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on December 9, 2022

General Secretariat – Xiamen
His Excellency Mr Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), has highlighted the significance of the China-GCC Forum for Industries and Investment, which brings together Ministers of Industry and Investment and senior leaders from both the GCC countries and the People’s Republic of China. He stressed that the Forum is a direct outcome of the historic GCC-Chinese Summit held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on December 9, 2022, which marked a major milestone in strengthening ties between the two sides, adding that the event also builds on the outcomes of the Ministerial Meeting (6+1) held in October 2023, which saw the Ministers of Economy and Trade from the GCC countries and the Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China gathering to deepen economic and trade cooperation.

This came during the participation of JE the Secretary General in the first session of the China-GCC Forum for Industries and Investment, held on May 23–24, 2024, in the city of Xiamen in the People’s Republic of China, in the presence of Their Excellencies the Ministers of Industry and Investment and senior leaders of industrial and investment policy makers in the GCC countries and the People’s Republic of China.

At the outset of his speech, His Excellency conveyed the aspirations of Their Majesties and Highnesses, the leaders of the GCC states, to foster a bond of love and peace with the People's Republic of China, founded on trust and mutual respect. He emphasised the need to strengthen economic ties between the two nations, which would serve the interests of both parties, in accordance with the GCC’s approach to its international relations.

Moreover, HE the Secretary General, stated that the meeting will significantly contribute to reinforcing the ongoing efforts aimed at implementing the Joint Action Plan for cooperation in the economic and commercial field for the period 2023-2027, which was agreed upon during the strategic dialogue between the GCC and the People's Republic of China. He further stressed that the meeting will also facilitate intensifying communication between the governmental and private sectors on both sides, enabling them to discuss and explore economic opportunities, trade, investment, and industrial sectors, with the aim of transforming these discussions into tangible partnerships, ultimately leading to enhanced cooperation in various fields of trade, investment, industry, and advanced technology. His Excellency also underscored that both sides aim to achieve common goals and bring them into reality through this collaborative effort.

HE Mr Albudaiwi pointed out that the GCC countries and China are considered among the largest economies in the world, where the volume of the GCC countries GDP amounts to USD 2.4 trillion, while the volume of the GDP in China reaches USD 17.7 trillion, making the GCC countries the ninth largest economy in the world, while China is considered the second largest economy, which makes cooperation between them pivotal to the global economy. Additionally, His Excellency stated that trade exchange between the two sides is moving strongly and continuously, as China is considered the largest trading partner of the Cooperation Council countries, which aspires to enhance trade facilitation and stimulate the possibilities to develop trade exchange and maximise its volume, in addition to strengthening cooperation in services trade, developing digital trade, e-commerce, and financial technologies.

HE the Secretary General also expressed his pride in what the GCC countries have achieved to date, as they have been able to achieve many economic milestones in recent years, citing a number of statistics that indicate this.

His Excellency also stressed that the Free Trade Agreement between the GCC countries and the People’s Republic of China, which is being negotiated, will be one of the important tributaries in strengthening Gulf-Chinese relations in all fields, especially economic and investment, which will contribute to maximising the benefits gained and trade exchange between the two sides. The agreement, which was launched as one of the outcomes of the “Framework Agreement for Economic Cooperation between the GCC States and the People’s Republic of China” signed on July 6, 2004, has held 10 rounds of technical negotiations to date, and many meetings between the rounds of negotiations, and diligent efforts are being made by officials in the hope of an announcement soon of the final signing of an ambitious Free Trade Agreement that takes joint economic, trade and investment relations to levels that we all aspire to. 

His Excellency explained that the two sides agreed on most aspects and topics of the agreement, and the remaining ones are a limited number of topics, believing that they will not constitute an obstacle to the common desire to reach a final agreement that reflects the aspirations of both sides and achieve the desired goals. 

In a related context, His Excellency mentioned that the conditions for establishing the GCC-Chinese strategic partnership are ripe, based on political trust, mutual respect and strong understanding between the two sides, and the weight that the two parties represent in the global economy. 

He added that all of these conditions make joint work and raising its level a goal to enhance and deepen cooperation between the two sides, and unlock new opportunities for growth and investment that would achieve prosperity, progress, and prosperity for the peoples of the GCC countries, China, and the entire world. His Excellency concluded by stressing the importance of continuing these meetings because of their major role in coordinating efforts and deepening investment and industrial cooperation between the two parties.