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Spanish King Calls for Further Cooperation with China
Spanish King Calls for Further Cooperation with China

Visiting Spanish King Juan Carlos I on Wednesday called for further cooperation between Spanish and Chinese companies in the fields of energy, environmental protection, tourism, infrastructure and agriculture.

"Companies from Spain and China have cooperated effectively in the telecom and finance sectors," said Juan Carlos I at the Sino-Spanish Forum of Industry and Commerce, the largest of its kind Spain has ever held overseas, in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Speaking to a crowd of 600 Spanish and Chinese businessmen, Juan Carlos I praised progress in Spain-China ties since the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries in 2005.

"I hope my trip to China will help deepen our all-round strategic partnership," Juan Carlos I said.

His state visit, the third, coincided with the ongoing "Year of Spain in China."

Agreeing with Juan Carlos I, Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu, who also attended the forum, said bilateral trade and investment between China and Spain were "gaining momentum."

To extend cooperation, Hui suggested developing trade in services, environmental protection, and instituting a better economic and trade dialogue mechanism.

Hui also encouraged companies from both countries to increase investment and organize large-scale exhibitions.

The trade volume between China and Spain climbed to a record US$14.5 billion in 2006, with Spain's exports increasing sharply, bringing the two countries closer to balanced bilateral trade.

A total of 450 Spanish enterprises have investments in China, and the number is likely to increase to between 800 and 1000 in the next two years.

"Spanish entrepreneurs look forward to fresh business opportunities in central and western China," said Juan Carlos I.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday met with Juan Carlos I and encouraged exchanges between the Chinese and Spanish companies.

"China and Spain still have great potential for economic and trade cooperation although they have already made remarkable achievements in this regard," Wen said.

He suggested the two countries improve business contacts, as well as trade structures, and enhance cooperation on new energy resources, environmental protection, finance, shipping, and tourism.


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