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Sino-Gulf FTA 'may be signed this year' (3)

By BAO CHANG  (China Daily)

08:39, April 18, 2013

In addition, a Sino-GCC FTA will help Chinese enterprises further explore the Middle East market, which has strong demand for Chinese goods, Jiang said.

The FTA with the GCC will stimulate companies in the Gulf to set up petrochemical enterprises in the Chinese market, which can promote industry efficiency and reduce energy prices, Jiang said.

China's investment in the Gulf region has seen fast growth in recent years.

According to Al Bitar, the number of Chinese companies operating in the UAE market stands at more than 5,000, up from the 3,000 three years ago.

Mei Xinyu, a researcher at the International Trade and Economic Cooperation Institute of the Ministry of Commerce, said there is huge potential for Chinese companies to develop in the GCC area.

GCC countries also need to dismantle the monopolies of US and European companies in the oil and gas exploration industries, he added.

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