Spain and China Urged to Strengthen Trade and Investment Ties. Representatives from over a hundred Chinese and Spanish businesses, along with officials including China's Ambassador to Spain, Yao Jing, convened in Barcelona to explore avenues for boosting trade and investment between the two nations.
Wang Bo, General Manager of China Construction Bank in Europe, highlighted their mission to assist Chinese investors in identifying potential Spanish companies for investment while facilitating Spanish firms in finding opportunities and partners in China. He emphasized the growing interest of Chinese investors in Spain since China's recent market opening.
Spanish entrepreneurs emphasized the importance of helping companies navigate new markets effectively. Ramon Ceravalls, CEO of CELO, a company with 18 years of experience in China, emphasized the need for a long-term perspective and persistence in doing business with China.
China's Ambassador Yao urged Spanish companies to increase exports of products such as wine, oil, and ham, which have found favor with Chinese consumers. He also mentioned Chinese interest in purchasing large-scale machinery and apparatus manufactured in Spain.
One initiative discussed during the event to enhance cooperation was the launch of the China Desk in Barcelona, supported by the regional Catalan government. It aims to assist Chinese companies looking to invest in the region.
Bilateral trade between China and Spain has grown significantly in the past 50 years, totaling over €43 billion in recent years. Chinese imports into Spain in the first half of 2023 amounted to €22.3 billion, while Spanish exports to China reached €3.7 billion during the same period. Additionally, China invested €95 million in Spain in 2022, primarily in the energy and real estate sectors, while Spain invested €42 million in China, focusing on pharmaceutical and financial services.
Attendees at the event emphasized the need for greater understanding and trust between the two countries to foster lasting and prosperous business connections for companies on both sides. Minister of Business and Work Roger Torrent from Catalonia's regional government expressed the desire to have China as a strategic partner to promote mutual growth, prosperity, and technology exchange.