China, Saudi Arabia convenes 4th joint meeting on economy, trade

08:40, January 11, 2010      

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China and Saudi Arabia convened Sunday the fourth meeting of their joint committee on economy and trade in the Saudi capital, co-chaired by Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming and Saudi Minister of Finance Ibrahim bin Abdel Aziz al-Asaf.

Chen hailed the rapid growth of bilateral economic and trade ties since the third meeting of the joint committee in 2006, noting that bilateral trade have realized two years in advance the goal of 40 billion U.S. dollars by 2010, and Saudi Arabia has been China's biggest trade partner in West Asia for eight consecutive years.

He made a five-point proposal, in which he said both countries should strive to expand bilateral trade to reach 60 billion dollars by 2015.

He also proposed to maintain the long-term and steady crude oil trade between the two sides, in addition to enhancing cooperation on exploiting gas, oil projects and petrochemical industry, and establish a cooperation mechanism on trade remedy.

The Chinese minister stressed that both sides should promote the negotiation process on the free trade agreement between China and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Al-Asaf, for his part, said that Saudi Arabia hopes to see and will provide convenience for more Chinese enterprises to participate in Saudi economic construction as the country is speeding up its petrochemical industry, urban development, and traffic and environmental protection projects.

He said Saudi Arabia welcomed the progress in China-GCC FTA negotiation and will work together with the Chinese side to push forward the process for an early completion.

The two ministers met the press after the meeting, during which Chen said both sides have agreed to expand the trade volume to 60 billion U.S. dollars by 2015.

Chen also met with the Saudi Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Yussef Zainal on Sunday.

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