Spanish PM wraps up visits to Qatar, UAE, Tunisia

Spanish PM wraps up visits to Qatar, UAE, Tunisia
# 03 March 2011 18:17 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has wrapped up a three-day visit to Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Tunisia, APA reports quoting Xinhua News Agency.

Zapatero’s visit to Qatar mainly focused on business cooperation with the country, which will host the 2022 World Cup, with regards to supplying infrastructure, logistics and consultancy.

Important capital injections were announced at a press conference during Zapatero’s visit.

Qatar’s Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassem bin Jaber al-Thani said that Qatar’s sovereignty fund will invest 300 million euros (418.2 million U.S. dollars) in Spain’s savings banks and an investment of 3,000 million euros (4,182 million dollars) is being negotiated for Spanish companies in the energy and telecommunications sectors.

Meanwhile, Qatar has presented an agreement to cooperate with Spain in transport infrastructure, which would help Spain’s powerful construction companies obtain contracts for the work that Qatar will carry out ahead of the 2020 World Cup.

During Zapatero’s visit to the UAE, he met with Sheik Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi’s crown prince and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The crown prince announced that his country would invest 150 million euros (209 million U.S. dollars) in Spanish savings banks.

In recent months, Spanish companies have obtained contracts from the UAE with a value of 1,400 million euros (1,952 million U.S. dollars), which the Spanish government says have been facilitated by contacts with the government of the Emirates.

The rankings published in the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute (SWF) showed that the Abu Dhabi sovereign fund is the most important one in the world in terms of capital, while Qatar’s fund also occupies a privileged position.

These countries are both important destinations for Spanish investment, especially due to their high spendings on infrastructure.

On Wednesday, Zapatero met with Tunisian interim president Fouad Mebazaa and they discussed the latest developments in Tunisia.

The meeting focused on bilateral relations and cooperation in light of developments on the national and regional scene.

Zapatero also met with his Tunisian counterpart Beji Caid Essebsi, who was named prime minister by Mebazaa on Sunday.

This was Zapatero’s second visit to Tunisia since he took office in 2004.