Qatar is currently one of the largest Arab investors in Spain.
Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani announced on Tuesday plans of investing $5 billion in various sectors in Spain during his visit to the country.
The Amir made the announcement during a dinner in Spain hosted by King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia at the Royal Palace. Consort of the Amir Sheikha Jawaher bint Hamad Al Thani was accompanying the Qatari leader during the visit.
“Based on our confidence in the strength of the Spanish economy, we decided to invest an additional $5 billion in the coming years,” said Sheikh Tamim, noting that Qatar is currently one of the largest Arab investors in Spain.
The Gulf state’s investments in Spain last year exceeded $22 billion (€21 billion), according to figures shared by Qatar’s News Agency (QNA). The overall trade volume between the two countries surpassed $1 million (€990 million) in 2021.
Reuters had reported that the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is going to invest in projects funded by the European Union’s Covid-19 recovery fund.
Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told QNA, on the sidelines of the visit, that the latest major investment is a step in strengthening the ties between the two countries.
Sheikh Tamim is currently on a tour in Europe as part of Qatar’s efforts to bolster its ties with countries of the region. The Amir was previously in Slovenia where he signed several memoranda of understanding (MoU’s) in a number of fields.
The Amir had expressed his willingness to expand Doha’s ties with Madrid in a speech at the Senate of Spain. This year is going to mark the 50-year anniversary of Qatar-Spain ties.
Sheikh Tamim said he looks forward to increasing cooperation between the Shura Council and Senate of Spain. In 2020, the foreign ministries from both countries held political consultations to boost their bilateral ties.
The Amir has also congratulated King Felipe on his national football team’s qualification for the FIFA World Cup 2022.
“It is an honour for me and the Queen to receive you [Sheikh Tamim] and to welcome you and the important delegation that accompanies you on your first official visit to Spain,” said the King of Spain.
Spain’s King presented the Collar of the Order of Isabella the Catholic to Sheikh Tamim during the visit, expressing the strength of Qatar and Spain’s bilateral ties.
According to QNA, the collar is the highest decoration granted to heads of state and high-ranking personalities.
During his visit to the Madrid City Hall, the Mayor of Madrid Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida presented the Amir with the Golden Key of Madrid. QNA reported that it is a token of gratitude and appreciation from the people of Spain to the people of Qatar.
In a similar sentiment, Sheikh Tamim also gave the Spanish king the Sword of the Founder Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed bin Thani.
Other high-level meetings took place between Qatari and Spanish officials in the country.
Qatar’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Mohammed Al-Thani met with Spain’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism Reyes Maroto. The officials discussed ways to promote cooperation in the trade, investment and industry sectors.