Li: Spain a part­ner for new mar­ket

Pre­mier urgesMadrid to sim­plify pro­ce­dures for Chi­nese vis­i­tors

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHAO YI­NAN in Palma and ZHANG YUNBI in Bei­jing

China and Spain should work to­gether to de­velop new mar­kets in the de­vel­op­ing world to pro­mote eco­nomic growth, Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang said on Wed­nes­day dur­ing a meet­ing with Spain’s Deputy Prime Min­is­ter So­raya Saenz de San­ta­maria.

Li said the economies of China and Spain are highly com­ple­men­tary and have a great po­ten­tial for cul­ti­vat­ing new mar­kets in the de­vel­op­ing world. He also said that China is will­ing to ex­pand trade with Spain, as the coun­tries cel­e­brate the 10th an­niver­sary of their com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic part­ner­ship.

He urged Spain to of­fer sim­pler pro­ce­dures for Chi­nese tourists and other vis­i­tors. Li ar­rived in Palma, Spain, for a stopover af­ter fin­ish­ing a four­na­tion tour of Latin Amer­ica.

Saenz de San­ta­maria said Spain will never for­get China’s help dur­ing eco­nomic re­ces­sion­san­dis will­ing to co­op­er­ate in in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion and the en­ergy and chem­i­cal in­dus­tries.

Spain’s econ­omy min­is­ter said ear­lier this month that Spain’s growth this year would be closer to 3.5 per­cent than to the gov­ern­ment’s pre­vi­ous pre­dic­tion of 2.9 per­cent.

Spain was bat­tered by the fi­nan­cial cri­sis and emerged from a dou­ble-dip re­ces­sion at the end of 2013. Its econ­omy has grown for the past seven quar­ters. The twona­tions’ closer re­la­tions have been marked by Span­ish Prime Min­is­ter Mar­i­ano Ra­joy vis­it­ing China and the sign­ing of sev­eral trade agree­ments in Septem­ber.

Spain isChina’s sev­enth-largest trade part­ner within the Euro­pean Union, while China is Spain’s largest trade part­ner out­side the Euro­pean Union. Last year, bi­lat­eral trade reached $27.7 bil­lion, a year-onyear in­crease of 11.3 per­cent.

A rail­way ship­ping route span­ningEurasi­a­be­tweenChina and Spain was pro­posed by Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping dur­ing the Septem­ber meet­ing with Ra­joy, ac­cord­ing to Lyu Fan, China’s am­bas­sador to Spain.

The rail line, which con­nected ex­ist­ing rail to com­plete a route from EastChina’sYi­wuto the Span­ish cap­i­tal of Madrid, be­gan trial runs in Novem­ber. It be­gan for­mal op­er­a­tions ear­lier this month with two-way ship­ments of com­modi­ties on a regular ba­sis. Con­tact the writ­ers at zhaoy­i­nan@chi­nadaily.com.cn and zhangyunbi@chi­nadaily.

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