Historic Qatar-Spain ties get further boost with Amir’s visit
May 17 2022 01:12 AM
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QNA/ Doha

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani is on a state visit to the friendly Kingdom of Spain as part of a European tour.
During the visit, His Highness the Amir will meet with King Felipe VI of Spain and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to discuss the close relations between the two friendly countries and ways to support and develop them in various fields.
The Amir’s visit to Madrid, the discussions that will be held, and agreements that will be signed constitute an important occasion for developing and strengthening the partnership between the two sides in order to serve the common interests of the two countries and people.
Qatar and Spain are linked by historic relations that derive their depth and strength from the existing relations between the Amir and the Spanish king.
In recent years, bilateral relations witnessed a great development that included various political, diplomatic, economic and cultural levels.
The strong relations between Qatar and Spain began during the 1970s when diplomatic relations were established between the two countries in 1972.
The Qatari embassy opened in 1981, and its objectives from the beginning were to advance bilateral relations and introduce Spanish politicians and businessmen to Qatar, its policies, capabilities and positions.
The embassy is also keen to strengthen the economic relations in order to diversify sources of income in line with Qatar National Vision 2030 and provide benefit for Spain through further economic co-operation, trade and exchange and foreign investments.
The embassy organised many activities to consolidate relations between the two countries.
It organised several trips for businessmen and members of Spanish political parties to Qatar as well as trips for Qatari delegations to Spain.
The importance of these activities and events increased in recent years in light of international changes in addition to the prominent political and economic role that Qatar has played at the Arab and international levels.
Qatar and Spain are keen on continuous communication and mutual visits at the highest levels by Qatar and Spanish delegations and officials.
The Amir met King Felipe VI at the headquarters of the Permanent Mission of Qatar to the UN in New York on the sidelines of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly.
During the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations and ways to develop them in various fields to enhance the existing co-operation between the two countries.
Last September, the Amir met with Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Co-operation Jose Manuel Albares Bueno and his accompanying delegation.
During the meeting, they reviewed co-operation between the two countries and prospects for enhancing them in addition to discussing the regional and international developments, especially the situation in Afghanistan.
The minister conveyed the thanks and appreciation of King Felipe VI and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to the Amir for Qatar’s role in evacuating Spanish citizens, and its efforts in supporting the peace process in Afghanistan.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani also met with the Spanish minister and reviewed with him co-operation between the two countries, the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and the latest field developments there, both in terms of security and politics.
In October 2020, a round of political consultations was held between the foreign ministries of Qatar and Spain via video communication technology to increase co-ordination between the two countries and review bilateral relations and issues of common interest.
A set of agreements and MoU were also signed that regulate relations between Doha and Madrid in culture, youth, sports, tourism, air transport and energy security.
During the past few years, the Qatari-Spanish relations have also witnessed major development, especially, in the economic, commercial, cultural, sports, and political fields.
In January of last year, the Qatari Businessmen Association held a meeting via video communication technology with the Spanish Businessmen Federation to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and announce the launch of the Qatari-Spanish Joint Business Council, which includes elite businessmen from the two countries, aiming to open a new page in the history of economic relations by encouraging trade and investment exchange in various fields and productive and service sectors and to provide a mechanism for co-operation.
Qatar is a strategic partner for Spain as evidenced by the trade and investment figures.
The number of Spanish companies currently operating in the Qatari market is about 210, including 23 wholly owned by the Spanish side.
The volume of Qatari investments in Spain is estimated at €21bn and includes several sectors such as energy, sports, and real estate investment.
The Qatar Investment Authority is the second-largest shareholder in the Spanish Stock Exchange.
Qatar has increased its share to become one of the most important suppliers of natural gas to Spain, and the volume of Qatari-Spanish trade exchange during the period from January to November 2020 amounted to about $750mn despite the global economic crisis.
Spain is an attractive destination for investments due to its location as a natural gateway to Europe, the Mediterranean, and Latin America, which provides Qatar with a reliable partner to open doors to investment in new markets.
In return, the Qatari investment environment has succeeded in attracting many Spanish companies, which work and contribute to infrastructure projects related to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, water treatment, digitisation and the education sector.
Spanish companies enjoy their competitiveness in various sectors, particularly, in the sustainable development, green economy, infrastructure and sports sector, and they can contribute to achieving the economic diversification that Qatar aspires and works to achieve.
The growing co-operation between the two countries include the artistic and cultural sectors through organising many activities and events such as cultural weeks, exhibitions, and concerts.
Culturally, Spain is the third country with the most sites inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage List after China and Italy.
Spanish is also spoken by more than 400mn people in Latin America.
Spain includes a large number of public and private universities, some of which are among the oldest universities in the world.
Spanish people are fond of all kinds of sports, with Spain being a superior and distinguished country in this field as it won a number of world championships.
With football being the most popular sport there, Spain greatly appreciates the work that Qatar is doing in preparing for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and wishes it success in organising this major global event and expressed through its senior officials its readiness to assist with the necessary expertise in this regard.
Spain is a European country, bordering the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean, with an area of just over five 500,000sq km, and a population of more than 46mn people.
It is the second-largest country in Western Europe after France, and the Spanish economy is the fifth largest in Europe after Germany, the UK, Italy, and France. The Spanish economy is based on four sectors: tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, and energy.
Tourism revenues constitute about 11% of its GDP, as it is the world’s third biggest tourist destination, visited annually by more than 75mn tourists.
Also, it is the headquarters of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). Spain has the busiest port in the Mediterranean in Valencia and the second-longest railway network in the world after China, with a length of 3,567km.



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