Li: Spain a partner for new market

Updated: 2015-05-28 07:48

By Zhao Yinan in Palma and Zhang Yunbi in Beijing(China Daily)

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Premier urges Madrid to simplify procedures for Chinese visitors

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 four-nation tour of Latin America.

Saenz de Santamaria said Spain will never forget China's help during economic recessions and is 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 two nations' closer relations have been marked by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy visiting China and the signing of several trade agreements in September.

Spain is China'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-on-year increase of 11.3 percent.

A railway shipping route spanning Eurasia between China 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 East China's Yiwu to 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.

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