27 May 2019
Belen Alfaro, Ambassador of Spain to Qatar, revealed that bilateral relations between the two countries have grown significantly, with the two-way trade exchange totalling to more than QR5.09bn ($1.4bn) in 2018 – recording over 5% growth from 2017.
As the Peninsula reports, the Ambassador went on to reveal that both parties are in the process of organising a meeting of the Joint Committee for Economic and Trade Affairs as well as what will likely be a Qatar-Spain Business Forum later in the year in Madrid.
Ambassador Alfaro told The Peninsula, “The Qatar-Spain bilateral trade and economic ties are expected to see major growth in the coming years as both sides are working very closely to expand, deepen and strengthen the level of cooperation.
“The Spanish Business Council, which has now become the Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Qatar, is working to facilitate and accelerate the pace of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries,” she went on to say.
“After the establishment of new government in Spain, we hope to reinforce and strengthen bilateral cooperation in all areas, with special focus in trade and investment. We are also looking forward to organise a high level official visits from Qatar to Spain which may coincide with the upcoming Business Forum in Spain.”
The Ambassador also pointed out that many significant investments had been made by Qatar in Spain in recent year, especially in the energy sector.
'We have Qatari investments in Iberdrola, real estate, hospitality and tourism sectors. Qatari companies own hotels in Madrid, Barcelona and other places. Qatar has also invested in ports and yachts. This is in addition to private investments in several other sectors, said the Ambassador in an interview with this newspaper recently,” she said.
Alfaro also noted that development in Qatar is benefitting greatly from Spanish companies, as the country takes on several major projects ahead of the 2022 Fifa World Cup. Over 100 Spanish companies have been set up in Qatar, thereby contributing to the Qatari economy, across a range of sectors.
She said, “Qatar has developed and constructed very high quality buildings and infrastructure projects such as hotels, stadiums, roads and railways, and many of them have completed in record time. The country has witnessed tremendous change over the last one decade. We can see a lot of unique buildings and towers, especially in Doha's skyline. A lot of them are flagship buildings with international standards, which speak volume about Qatar's fast growing development story.”