The Ambassador of Spain to Qatar, Belen Alfaro Hernandez (pictured) said yesterday that bilateral relations between Qatar and Spain have been growing and expanding fast and steadily as both sides are working in close cooperation. As a result of this the bilateral trade volume witnessed a double-digit growth of 21 percent during the first eight months of this year.
The relations between the two countries continued to register robust growth over the last few years. The two-way trade exchange had reached over QR5.09bn ($1.4bn) in 2018, witnessing a growth of over 5 percent compared to previous year (2017). “We are expecting to host the meeting of a joint economic and trade forum to further expand and deepen the areas of economic cooperation.
“The trade volume between Qatar and Spain has increased by 21 percent during the first eight months of this year compared to the same period last year. The value of trade exchange between the two countries stood at €1.2bn last year. The trade exchange between Qatar and Spain is growing,” Ambassador Hernandez told The Peninsula on the sidelines of the coveted Doha Forum 2019, which concluded here yesterday.
She added that Spain’s sovereign wealth fund ‘Instituto de Crédito Oficial’, or ICO (Institute of Official Credit ) is also talking with its Qatari counterpart (QIA) to form a joint investment fund to explore and finance projects in Spain, with special focus in small and mediums enterprises.
With regard to energy cooperation, Hernandez said that Spain has already increased the volume of gas imports from Qatar, which is now the largest supplier of LNG to Spain.
The envoy said that more MoUs are expected to be signed in several areas to boost the level of cooperation in the field of sports, culture, education and defence in the coming days. These proposed agreements, which are currently in the pipeline and under negotiations, are to be signed next year.
She also noted that several Spanish companies are interested to invest in Qatar, including the upcoming free zone areas, and in this regard the Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Qatar is working in close cooperation with the Spain’s embassy in Doha and Qatar Chamber and exchanging information on various opportunities in Qatar as well as in Spain.
Commenting about the Doha Forum event, the Ambassador said that this is an amazing platform for discussing and analyzing global issues and challenges. “Each Forum is better than the previous ones, and amazes us more than what we attended before, especially in terms of content, issues raised and tackled, and also the kind of speakers and leaders who has been attending the event over the years. I want to congratulate the Qatari government for this,” she added.
“From Spain we have here Miguel Ángel Moratinos, the High Representative for United Nations Alliance for Civilizations (UNAOC), who was the former Minister of Foreign Affairs for Spain, to attend this event.”
Moratinos, on behalf of UNAOC, which is the premier global platform for intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation, yesterday signed an MoU with Qatar to enhance cooperation in different areas and organizations, including the Qatar Foundation and Education Above All Foundation (EAA) and others.
On bilateral relations between Qatar and Spain, the Spanish envoy to Qatar said that both the countries are preparing to organize exchange of high level visits from Spain to Doha and vice-versa once the new government is formed in Spain early next year in January.
Source from: The Peninsula