Spanish companies will become vital investors in Colombian infrastructure projects stated Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Monday after his meeting with the Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
In his first stop on his European tour, Santos met with Zapatero in Madrid where the leaders discussed the possibility of Spanish companies investing in Colombia, El Espectador reported.
Santos expressed his desire to take advantage of “the experience and great ability” of Spanish companies to give his country a “quantum leap” in competitiveness.
Spanish investment in Colombia is already “very important,” according to Santos, but there is an opportunity to intensify it. Though the Colombian economy is growing at a “fair” rate, expecting to grow over 5% this year, increasing infrastructure investment is vital to maintaining Colombia’s competitiveness internationally, said Santos.
Last month it was announced by Colombia’s transport minister that the country could surpass $40 billion in infrastructure investment over the coming decade. Spain was mentioned at the time as having a key role in this investment and on Monday, the two leaders announced that the Spanish Minister for Development, Jose Blanco, along with Spanish business leaders will travel to Colombia in June this year to initiate investment plans.
In addition to economics, Zapatero and Santos also discussed the importance of maintaining close bilateral relations in “the fight against terrorism with police cooperation and the fight against [Spanish terrorist organization] ETA and the FARC,” said Prime Minister Zapatero.
This trip was Santos’ first Spanish visit since taking office as president in August 2010. He will head to Germany on Wednesday to meet with President Christian Wulff and Chancellor Angela Merkel.