Japan and six Gulf nations comprising the Gulf Cooperation Council began to discuss their bilateral free trade agreement during the first round of talks in Tokyo, Japanese Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
During two-day meeting, which kicked off yesterday, Japan and the GCC members will concentrate on reduction of tariffs and the liberalization of services trade between the two parties, according to the officials.
The GCC countries accounted for some 75 percent of oil imports by Japan last year.
Japan aims to use the talks to reduce the six statesâ€™ five-percent common external tariff on most imports and to attract investment from the nations through the FTA, officials said.
The GCC includes Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.
The next round of negotiations is expected to be held in December in Riyadh, officials added.