Spain to boost cooperation with China under Belt & Road Initiative

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-02 17:59:49|Editor: xuxin
Video PlayerClose

MADRID, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Spain is willing to expand cooperation with China under the Belt and Road Initiative, especially in infrastructure, Spanish State Secretary for Commerce Marisa Poncela said on Thursday.

Bilateral cooperation should encompass such areas as infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation as well as investment and finance, Poncela said at the forum "Business Opportunities for Spanish Companies under the Belt and Road Initiative."

The Initiative connects almost 60 percent of the world's population and offers enormous opportunities, said Poncela. "All the tools of the State Secretariat for Commerce are available for this initiative."

"Spain has 4 commercial offices throughout China that analyze how projects are done and how they collaborate with our companies and institutions through our tools to help them present the best offer," she said.

Spain wants to have not only a land connection through railway but also a maritime connection, the state secretary for commerce added. "We want the maritime connection between China and Europe to end in Spain, in our ports, Barcelona, Valencia, in all of our ports in the Mediterranean, or even beyond, in our country."

The forum, jointly organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Investments of China in Spain (CCINCE) and the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE), attracted some 200 representatives from major institutions and enterprises in China and Spain.

Vice President of the CEOE, Juan Pablo Lazaro, said, "The Belt and Road Initiative has aroused among our business fabric and our members and partners a lot of interest because of the ambition and magnitude it has."

He said this network of infrastructure and communications along its path of logistics and industrial centers is a great opportunity to integrate Asian markets, and promote the economic development of Eurasia, China and the European Union.

Lazaro said Spanish entrepreneurs "have welcomed the initiative with great interest, considering that we can contribute with our management capacity, our knowledge in the sectors."

Spain has an essential logistics position in Europe, Latin America and the North of Africa, he said, highlighting Madrid as a logistical hub in this regard.

The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China in 2013 consists of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road. It aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes.