Co-chair of Qatar-Spain Business Council and president of Spanish energy company Iberdrola, Ignacio Galan affirmed that His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani's visit to Spain contributes significantly to the development of bilateral co-operation between the two countries in various fields, describing the Qatari-Spanish relations as excellent at all levels.
In an interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA) in Madrid, Galan said that HH the Amir's visit will push more Qatari investments to Spain.
Similarly, it will motivate more Spanish businessmen to enter the Qatari market, especially since the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 represents an opportunity for them to get to know Qatar fully.
Regarding the work and tasks of the Qatari-Spanish Business Council, he explained that the council has a role in strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries, through permanent communication between Qatari and Spanish businessmen, pointing out that the two sides are expected to hold a joint session during the visit of HH the Amir to Madrid.
Galan pointed out that the council is composed of representatives of Spanish contracting companies, communications companies such as the PRISA, and El Corte Ingles which operates in the distribution sector, in addition to other various sectors, indicating that most of these companies have been co-operating with Qatar for years, and there are Qatari investments in some of these companies; therefore, the relationship between them is technical and economic.
Concerning the activity of the company Iberdrola in the State of Qatar, he explained that it began in 2004 through gas contracts, followed by the establishment of the largest power plant in Qatar between 2009 and 2010, and since 2011, the company began its co-operation with Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), noting that the State of Qatar knows how to manage its resources well under its wise leadership.
In a related context, he pointed out that the company now has a research and development centre in the Middle East in the field of smart grids in co-operation with Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) and Texas A&M University in Qatar (TAMUQ) and other universities.
It plans to expand the research centre, in addition to communicating with a number of authorities in the State of Qatar to enhance partnership.
The Qatari investments in Spain amount to about €21bn, the largest of which is in Iberdrola, with a share of almost 9%, he said.
The company is the largest on the Spanish Stock Exchange, with a capital of more than $80bn, he noted.
Two-thirds of the Iberdrola's activity is outside Spain in the US, France, Germany, the UK, Brazil, and many other countries.
Additionally, QIA and Iberdrola are partners in a company listed on the United States Stock Exchange, meaning that Qatar invests in Iberdrola, and both invest in the US, he added.
He explained that thanks to the Qatari investments in Iberdrola, which have tripled; the company was able to expand in the United States to become the third-largest renewable energy company there, and the second electricity company in the UK, as part of its activities in more than 40 countries around the world.