Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez received the Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamin Bin Hamad Al Thani, at Moncloa Palace on the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations being established and as part of the European tour that will also take the Qatari leader to Germany, the United Kingdom and Slovenia.
This is the first time that the current Emir of Qatar has officially visited Spain.
Spain and Qatar have agreed to upgrade their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership, deepening economic and political ties between the two countries.
For Sánchez, although trade and investment relations were already important and there had always been intense cultural and friendly ties, from now on – with the new strategic partnership – they will be given a significant boost, “in line with the very close vision on how to face the current global challenges we share, such as multilateralism or the commitment to care for the planet, exploring the immense potential of renewable energies and the ecological transition”.
Specifically, His Highness Sheikh Tamin Bin Hamad Al Thani announced that Qatar will mobilise almost 5 billion euros of investment in Spain over the next few years.
A collaboration agreement has also been signed between the sovereign wealth fund, QIA, and the Spanish public financial entity COFIDES, which will facilitate investment flows in Spain for green and digital economy projects in line with the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan promoted by the Government of Spain. Spain offers guarantees for safe investments and a great future, linked to the dual green and digital transition, as well as a solid economic recovery framework at the forefront of the EU, despite the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
The Ministry of Economy and Digital Transformation has also signed a parallel agreement with its Qatari counterpart to strengthen financial and economic cooperation by exchanging information and implementing workshops and seminars.
As a result of this official state visit, Spain and Qatar also adopted a “historic” Joint Declaration, which creates a framework for regular and structured political dialogue on the common agenda of the two countries in regional and global affairs.
Qatar maintains this type of strategic dialogue with very few countries – the US, France, Italy, the UK, Japan, Turkey and China – which, together with the current geopolitical context following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, makes it all the more important for Spain when considering energy security criteria. Qatar is the world’s second largest producer of natural gas.
Pedro Sánchez stressed that the new strategic relationship “strengthens the connection between the business communities of both countries” and offers opportunities for Qatari investment in Spain, but also for Spanish companies in Qatar, particularly in areas such as infrastructure, the water sector, agribusiness and renewable energies, which are key to the emirate’s energy diversification as set out in its Qatar National Vision 2030.
A total of 12 agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoU) have been signed, covering economic, trade, education, military and judicial cooperation, health, science and innovation.