President Juan Manuel Santos arrived in Madrid ahead of his first official visit to Spain and Germany which will begin Monday.
On arrival in Madrid, the head of state said “We have many meetings lined up with all kinds of businessmen because the main objective is to bring back investment to produce jobs in our country … in areas in which Spain is strong,” referring to wind energy, agricultural development and infrastructure.
Spanish Secretary of State and Exterior Relations, Juan Antonio Yanez welcomed, at a Madrid military airport, Santos, his wife, and the delegation composed of the transport and commerce ministers, among others.
According to Spanish agency EFE President Santos said, in Cartagena prior to departure, that in Spain and in Germany his government has an important bilateral agenda which he hopes will “continue developing and consolidating” during this visit.
During the Spanish two-day tour Santos will meet with King Juan Carlos and President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero as well as officials of major Spanish companies, and participate in a symposium. On Wednesday he will travel to Berlin, Germany to meet the German President Christian Wulff and Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Santos said “The economic situation that is afflicting Spain could be an opportunity for the companies that are increasingly interested in investing in Colombia.” There are 300,000 Colombians legally resident in Spain, and Spain is Colombia’s second biggest investor, according to the Spanish government.
On Saturday Santos met Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and together they signed 16 bilateral treaties to improve trade relations between the neighboring nations. Earlier the same day the two leaders met Honduran President Porfirio Lobo and discussed the conditions on which Honduras could rejoin the Organization of American States (OAS) from which it was expelled following a military coup.