Spain and Qatar maintain a very strong partnership at the political, economic, commercial and cultural levels, Spanish ambassador Javier Carbajosa said on Wednesday in Doha.
"This year marks a significant cornerstone in our partnership. We celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries," he told a reception to mark the Spanish National Day.
The envoy recalled that upon the invitation of King Felipe VI, Qatar's Amir His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani carried out a state visit to Spain in May this year and both countries decided on the occasion to upgrade their bilateral relations to the next level, establishing a strategic partnership.
"At the political level, 15 bilateral agreements and MoUs have been signed during the past two years, in diverse areas such as education, economy or science. In addition, Spain has agreed with Qatar a visa-waiver agreement on diplomatic and special passports. Spain supports the on-going negotiations between Qatar and the European Commission to lift visa requirement for Qatari nationals.
"There is strong enthusiasm by Qatari tourists to visit Spain. More than 32,000 Qataris visited my country last year. The Arab legacy of cities such as Seville, Granada or Cordoba makes them a favourite to visit.
"Regarding economic figures, during 2021, bilateral trade rose by 34%, scoring a value close to €1bn. Furthermore, during the first seven months of 2022 bilateral trade rose by 31% driven by the increasing demand of Qatari products from Spain.
"Qatar is also consolidating its position as fourth supplier of LNG to Spain, with 12% of the total share, a figure that is likely to further increase," the ambassador said.
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