The Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism of Spain Reyes Maroto affirmed that her country attaches great importance to the current visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Spain, stressing that the visit is a re-launch of bilateral relations between the two countries in all fields.
In an interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA) in Madrid, Maroto 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.
She explained that the trade and investment relations made Spain in 2021 the sixth supplier to the State of Qatar, while Qatar was the fourth exporter to Spain.
She said that the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the recently approved Spanish recovery plan will meet in many elements, which will lead to the development of relations, as Spain, for example, focuses in its economic recovery plan on important areas such as green transformation and digital transformation. These matters are on top of the Qatar National Vision 2030, which opens wider horizons for the relations between the two countries.
On the future of co-operation in the field of liquefied natural gas between the two countries, Maroto stressed that Qatar is a permanent strategic partner for Spain, and in light of global tension on energy issues, bilateral and multilateral co-operation will benefit the two countries in this file.
She stressed that her country enjoys a very good business climate, and provides legal security, human resources and advanced projects that have attracted investors, which made Qatar the largest Arab investor in the country with a value of €21bn.
Maroto pointed out that her country is currently adopting a recovery plan worth €140bn, which is the right time to continue co-operation with Qatar, while calling on Qatari companies to contribute to the projects that will be presented on the sidelines of this new Spanish plan.
Spain has revealed an economic recovery plan aimed at providing more than 800,000 new jobs thanks to the funds provided by the European recovery plan, and Madrid will distribute the use of €140bn granted by Brussels to correct its economic situation that has received a severe hit as a result of Covid-19.
Spain, the second largest beneficiary of European funds after Italy, aims through the recovery plan, known as (PERTE), to support the sectors most affected by the crisis, especially the tourism sector, which represents about 15% of the country's GDP
Maroto enumerated the advantages that the government provides to the commercial and economic climate in her country, such as having strategic investment projects that provide opportunities for sovereign funds to invest in sustainable transport, circular economy, and aviation and space.
She pointed out that among these strategic projects, Volkswagen announced a huge factory project with the participation of 62 battery manufacturing companies with an investment of €7bn, which demonstrates the opportunities offered by Spain to investors in the world.
Regarding the volume of Trade exchange between Qatar and Spain in terms of exports and imports, Maroto said 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. The coronavirus pandemic negatively affected the activity of Qatar-Spanish Business Council, but they expect that the visit of His Highness the Amir will be an impetus to activate the role of the council, and that the Spanish recovery plan and the QNV 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.
She stressed that the cooperation between the two countries in many sectors made their relations multidimensional, especially in light of the periodic exchange visits between the two sides, and permanent communication between all Spanish institutions with their counterparts in Qatar, in addition to the efforts of the two countries in the field of establishing peace in the world.
On the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Maroto 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 co-operation 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."
She pointed out that her ministry is working with the relevant authorities in Qatar to facilitate the process of transferring Spanish fans to attend the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.