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Spanish companies interested in India: Zapatero

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, July 3 (UNI) Major companies from Spain are interested to invest in India, specially in infrastructure development with it's investment potential of 100 bln euros, visiting Spainsh President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero today said.

''There is going to be an explosion of Spanish interest in India in the next few years as India and Spain come together to face global challanges,'' Mr Zapatero said at the joint business meeting organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and Federation of Indian Chmaber of Commerce.

He invited companies from both India and Spain to set up joint ventures and said that both the countries would be happy to support such ventures.

He said that while a Spanish bank has already opened its branch in India, the institute for teaching Spanish would soon be set up in the country.

India could learn infrastructure, agriculture and technology from Spain while latter could learn Information technology from India he emphasised.

Union Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal's offered to enter into trade relations that whould benefit both countries and strengthen their bilateral relations at all levels.

Referring to the progress of Spanish economy Mr Sibal said, ''We would like to partener with (Spain).'' During 2005, trade between two countries was the highest ever at 2.1 billion euros , which represented only 0.37 per cent of its total Spanish export and barely 0.33 per cent of total Indian import while on the other hand Indian exports to Spain represented 1.49 per cent of its total exports and 0.67 per cent of total Spanish imports, the Minister informed.

However he pointed out that investment by Spain -- one of the world's leading economies in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) -- in India is a meagre 0.25 per cent of its total investment abroad.

He said Spain is considering India as one of their main objectives in the mid-term while Indian intersts in Spain are going beyond the traditional to include construction, training and information technology, pharmaceuticals, publications etc.

''I believe their is a move by the spanish government to spend 20.7 million euros through 2007 on fostering Spanish-India bilateral ties,'' he said.

Suggesting several new avenues for India-Spain joint ventures, Mr Sibal said bilateral investment flows need to be encouraged through development of collaborations in finance and banking.

Indian companies can benefit from Spanish auto components and commercial vehicles manufacturing sector, engineering and tool design, as well as electronics, he said.

India could venture into unexplored territory, belonging to EU just as Spain can access markets and opportunities in South and East Asia, he further added.

UNI VJ ARB RN1934

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