Ambassador of Spain to Qatar, Belen Alfaro, has said that Qatar is a reliable partner of Spain and the relations between the two countries remain excellent and inspired by strong affection between both Royal families.
“With respect to bilateral trade, recent data show that Qatar is a reliable partner for Spain as during 2018, bilateral trade value grew by 5 percent up to €1.2bn consolidating the upward trend that our merchandise and services flows have pointed over the years,” said Alfaro.
The Ambassador was speaking at a ceremony organized by the Embassy of Spain to celebrate National Day of Spain at Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl – Doha recently.
The ceremony was attended by Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, H E Yousuf Mohamed Al Othman Fakhroo; Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, H E Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi; Minister of State, H E Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari; Director of Protocol, Ambassador Ibrahim Yousif Abdulla Fakhro; Dean of Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador of Eritrea to Qatar, Ali Ibrahim Ahmed; and a number of ambassadors and guests.
Addressing the ceremony, the Ambassador of Spain said that trade forecast is very positive too, registering peak levels in the whole historical series during the seven first months of 2019. “Recent data show that Qatar is consolidating its position as third supplier of LNG to Spain, with 10 percent of the total share, a figure that is likely to further increase,” said Alfaro.
“We celebrate the National Day of Spain. This is my first national day celebration in Qatar and since my arrival almost one year ago I have had the opportunity to learn more about this country, and to interact with its people, who have always shown great hospitality, warmth, and friendship. I have discovered a country full of energy, with a strong commitment and determined to carry its goals towards the future through its 2030 National Vision,” said the Ambassador.
She said that Spain has very important historic relations with the Arab world and the Arab heritage and legacy of Al-Andalus remains through historic buildings in Spanish cities like Granada, Cordoba or Seville as well as in the language and customs.
“In view of this legacy, we are increasing bilateral cultural cooperation with Qatar Museums, with Mathaf and with private Museums such as Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Museum,” said the Ambassador.
Speaking on education, the Ambassador said that the learning of the Spanish language is on the rise in Qatar and it has eight percent of Arabic words from the history of Al Andalus.
“There is a Spanish International School in Doha – SEK. The independent educational system included Spanish as an option in 2017. We have intensified relations with Qatar University for Spanish classes and Hamad Bin Khalifa University offers a wide range of classes for adults and children and more and more private schools in Doha are offering Spanish as a foreign language in their curriculum,” said the Ambassador. She said that the official DELE exams for the Spanish language from the Cervantes Institute will be conducted in Doha soon.
“The increase by Qatar Airways of flight frequencies and the opening of new routes to Spain are also contributing to the intensification of the bilateral ties. The number of visitors from Qatar to Spain has increased by 150 percent in the past four years,” said the Ambassador.
“Second, I would like to pay special attention to sports. Qatar is in full swing in its preparation to host the first FIFA World Cup staged in the Arab world. The Qatari vision is to organize a memorable and unique tournament. In this sense, H.H. the Amir has recently announced that Qatar is committed to organizing the first carbon-neutral tournament. We believe it will be a great success not only for the country but for the region.
“From the economic and commercial perspective, the relations are increasingly growing, with the intense activities of over 170 companies present in Qatar, from the infrastructure to the services sector,” said the Ambassador.