(MENAFN- The Peninsula) QNA
Doha: Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism of Spain H E Reyes Maroto (pictured) has affirmed that her country attaches great importance to the current visit of the Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to Spain, stressing that the visit is a relaunch of bilateral relations between the two countries in all fields.
In an interview with QNA in Madrid, the Spanish Minister said that the Spanish-Qatari relations are excellent and are the fruit of mutual trust between the two countries which were able to significantly develop their trade and investment relations during the last period. Her Excellency explained that the trade and investment relations made Spain in 2021 the sixth supplier to Qatar, while Qatar was the fourth exporter to Spain.
The Minister said that Qatar National Vision 2030 and the recently approved Spanish recovery plan will meet in many elements, which will lead to a development of relations, as Spain, for example, focuses in its economic recovery plan on important areas such as green transformation and digital transformation and these matters are on top of the Qatar National Vision 2030, which opens wider horizons for the relations between both countries. On the future of cooperation in the field of liquefied natural gas between the two countries, she stressed that Qatar is a permanent strategic partner for Spain, and in light of global tension on energy issues, bilateral and multilateral cooperation will benefit the two countries in this file.
The Spanish Minister stressed that her country enjoys a very good business climate, and provides legal security, human resources and advanced projects that have attracted the investor, which made Qatar the largest Arab investor in the country with a value of €21bn. She pointed out that her country is currently adopting a recovery plan worth €140bn, which is the right time to continue cooperation with Qatar, while calling on Qatari companies to contribute to the projects that will be presented on the sidelines of this new Spanish plan.
Regarding the volume of trade exchange between Qatar and Spain in terms of exports and imports, she said that the two countries have a very large trade exchange that was of course affected by the Coronavirus pandemic during the past two years, but now it is gradually returning to its strength, adding that the Coronavirus pandemic negatively affected the activity of Qatar-Spanish Business Council, but they expect that the visit of the Amir will be an impetus to activate the role of the council, and that the Spanish recovery plan and the vision of Qatar 2030 will serve as a framework for promoting investments in the two countries and revitalising the role of the Council.
She also noted that there are many Spanish companies in the Qatari market working in all fields, including infrastructure, transport, energy and the financial sector, in addition to the interest from the Spanish side to increase the presence of these companies in Qatar, especially as they are working on pioneering projects.
In here statements to QNA, Maroto added that COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have an impact on the schedules of multilateral spaces, and therefore the strategic partnerships between European countries with GCC, African, Asian countries and American countries will allow everyone to maintain economic recovery and define its priorities, noting that for Qatar and Spain, this is among the priorities, and that Qatar and Spain can play a role in setting common agendas between the European Union and the Middle East as a whole.
On the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, she said that this global sport event is a great opportunity for cooperation between the two countries.
The World Cup in Qatar will be an opportunity to search for aspects of cooperation between the two countries, she said, adding:“I am sure that the World Cup will be a resounding success, and I hope that the Spanish League and Spanish companies that are interested in sports contribute to the success of this tournament, especially since football is the most followed sport in the world”.
The Spanish minister considered that the 2022 World Cup will represent a qualitative leap for Qatar so that after the World Cup it can organise major sports tournaments on a global level.
The Spanish Minister affirmed her country's appreciation for the efforts made by Qatar to assist Spain and other countries in evacuating their citizens from Afghanistan, stressing that Madrid appreciates the role played by the Qatari diplomacy and the successes achieved through mediation to resolve conflicts in the world in general.
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