The president announced the creation of the Investment and Partnership Forum Colombia-Spain during an official visit from Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in Bogota Thursday.
“Colombia offers great opportunities” and “stable rules”, he said, according to a presidential statement.
Santos emphasized that there was “no expropriation” in Colombia — a reference to Spain’s clash with Argentina over a government take-over of energy company YPF, owned by the Spanish group Repsol.
Colombia has supported Spain in a complaint to the World Trade Organization over the dispute.
The only demands on investors were for social and environmental responsibility, Santos said.
“We need capital, we need your experience, we are now way behind in infrastructure, and we are making a huge effort to get in line and put ourselves at the right level in terms of infrastructure in order to be competitive,” he said according to a seperate statement.
He said foreign investment from countries like Spain generated quality jobs and opportunities for Colombians.
In order to maintain the country’s economic growth, Colombia needed “foreign capital, we need foreign investment, we need Spanish SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and large Spanish companies,” Santos said.