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Tuesday / November 20.

Saudi Arabia, Spain mean business

Saudi Arabia and Spain agreed to increase the volume of investment in key sectors at the second session of the Saudi-Spanish Joint Committee this week.

The committee was co-chaired by Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qasabi and visiting Spanish Secretary of State for Trade Marisa Poncela Garcia.

Spanish Ambassador Alvaro Iranzo told Arab News on Thursday: “The joint committee held the second session in Riyadh and the two sides discussed bilateral cooperation and issues and common interests in accordance with the joint cooperation agreement that was signed by the two countries in Madrid on Feb. 22, 2007.”

He said that according to the agreement the joint committee meeting is to be held alternatively in Madrid and Riyadh. The first meeting was held in Madrid in 2014.

Iranzo said that the Spanish secretary of state for trade left Riyadh on Wednesday after a very “successful meeting” during which the two sides discussed bilateral trade relations and the promotion of trade and economic relations, as well as mutual investment opportunities in commerce, investment, economy, energy, industry, mining, science, technology, water, agriculture, finance, housing and tourism.

“Many aspects of bilateral relations were discussed with both sides keen to further enhance economic and technical cooperation in line with Vision 2030,” he said.

The two leaders stressed the importance of building cooperation in the private sector with exchange visits of business delegations, identifying export and investment opportunities, sharing expertise in the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and enriching the experience of entrepreneurs from the two countries.

“Companies from the Kingdom doing business in Spain and Spanish companies working in Saudi Arabia will be encouraged to help further enhance bilateral cooperation,” the envoy said.

Saudi companies SABIC and Alfanar had made a huge investment in Spain with big factories set up, he said. “We are exploring various ways in which both countries can assist each other in both public and private sectors,” he said.

Delegations reviewed the volume of trade exchange between the two countries and expressed a desire to further expand and diversify commercial business.

Iranzo said the volume of trade between the countries “stands at €5.5 billion ($6.8 billion),” and “we have scope to further increase the volume of trade.”

“Saudi Arabia is passing through an exciting time with Vision 2030, and Spain is willing to be a partner in development for a positive change and for national transformation,” he said.

“We have stocks of investment, we have good people-to-people contact and we wish to take it to new highs with our part in this transformation program.”