China and the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are to begin talks in January on setting up a Free Trade Area, Kuwait's ambassador to China told state media. Faisal Al-Ghais said the first round of talks would most likely be in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, with the aim of drafting an agreement aimed at maximizing two-way trade and investment. He said China was a market of vast potential for the GCC's energy goods, such as crude oil and petrochemicals. Established in 1981, the GCC comprises the six Gulf states: the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The group accounts for 45% of world oil reserves and 20% of world oil production.
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