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Qatar to invest an extra USD5B in Spain

MADRID (AFP) – Qatar yesterday said it plans to invest an additional USD5 billion in Spain on the second day of a state visit by its emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

“The volume of investments agreed upon with the Spanish side amounts to USD5 billion in various sectors,” said Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in a statement tweeted by his ministry.

Neither side gave a timetable for the investment, which amounts to some EUR4.75 billion, nor did they say which sectors would benefit.

“Qatar will invest close to EUR5 billion in our country in the coming years,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said during a business meeting with the Qatari delegation.

“It is a gesture of confidence in the Spanish economy and Spanish businesses which will strengthen bilateral ties,” he said ahead of afternoon talks with the emir.

Before the pandemic, Qatari investment in Spain stood at EUR2.67 billion (USD2.8 billion), the Spanish government said, making it the country’s 24th biggest investor.

To date, Qatari funding has been notably invested in several sectors: civil aviation, construction, energy and communications.

Qatar, one of the world’s three biggest exporters of liquefied natural gas (LNG), is currently Spain’s fifth-largest supplier after the United States, Algeria, Nigeria and Egypt.

The country accounted for 4.4 per cent of Spain’s total gas imports in April and the Spanish government hopes to increase this share.

After Madrid, the Qatari leader will continue his tour of Europe, visiting Germany, Britain, Slovenia and Switzerland, where he will attend the World Economic Forum in the mountain resort of Davos which runs from May 22-26.