King Juan Carlos of Spain (C)
Abu Dhabi - Arab Today
His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain has highlighted the depth of relations that bind the United Arab Emirates and Kingdom of Spain in a strong strategic partnership.
"UAE and Spain can face the challenges ahead by building a common future of true prosperity through a true and long lasting strategic partnership," he said in a speech at the opening of the UAE-Spain Economic Forum yesterday at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.
His Majesty expressed his happiness on visiting Abu Dhabi and offered his deepest appreciation to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for their continuous support to maintain strong and fruitful relations between the two countries.
He said that the Emirati economy has become one of the fastest growing markets for Spanish exporters of goods and services and the same is true for Emirates exports to Spain as strengths of UAE's economy are coupled with ambitious plans such as those under the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, or Dubai Vision, and Expo 2020.
Bilateral trade between the two sides has increased by 55% since 2011, bringing total trade volume to 2.4 billion Euros last year.
He stated that top Spanish companies have been awarded important contracts in oil and gas, renewable energy, transport, infrastructure, electricity, construction and defence sectors. Many more companies are actively participating in the tendering process in the UAE, with expertise and leading positions worldwide. He expressed happiness to see that these ties have attracted large numbers of Spanish companies to invest and establish their regional offices.
He also highlighted the role played by the Spanish Business Council in fostering a stronger and more active Spanish business community in the country adding that the Spanish businessmen are fully aware of the advantages offered to investors.
He also expressed thanks for the UAE's continuous trust in Spain, and for looking beyond the financial meanings of investment and believing in a true and long lasting strategic partnership.
For his part, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, in his speech during the forum, welcomed His Majesty the King of Spain and passed on the greetings of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his wishes of success to His Majesty and further progress, growth and prosperity his country.
He added that the forum highlights the prospects of the close ties between the Kingdom of Spain and the United Arab Emirates and contributes actively in the formation of strong bonds of friendship and intimacy between the two countries.
He also commended the speech of King Juan Carlos which expressed strongly and clearly the depth of relations between the two countries and the keenness of His Majesty to strengthen and develop these relations in the interest of both sides.
Sheikh Nahyan expressed hope that the forum will be a strong bridge for successful economic relations between Spain and the UAE.
He stressed that the occasion is a good opportunity representing the UAE's position and its capital, Abu Dhabi, as a prestigious centre which enjoys strong economic growth and plays an important role in the fields of investment and trade in the world, as well as its commitment to support coordination and cooperation with all countries and peoples.
He expressed his pride in the UAE and its comprehensive renaissance and economic progress achieved under its wise leadership, pointing out that the country has a growing and open economy which offers opportunities for everyone to contribute and participate and encourage positive competition.
He explained that the UAE economy is capable of a good performance in the era of globalisation, is characterised by transparency and openness to the global market and is working to establish national industries and the development and diversification of national income sources.
Sheikh Nahyan stressed that the UAE, led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is keen to strengthen its relations with the Kingdom of Spain in various fields.
He expressed his best wishes of every success to His Majesty King Juan Carlos and the friendly Kingdom of Spain all progress and prosperity, stressing his full confidence that the King's visit to the UAE will have the greatest impact on the achievement of all the goals and objectives and that the forum is an important step followed by others to develop and strengthen ties of friendship and cooperation between Spain and the UAE.