CADIZ, Spain – Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe said on Thursday that closer trade ties and business cooperation between his country and Latin America are a way out of the current economic crisis.
Speaking at the inauguration of a gathering of young Ibero-American business leaders in the southern city of Cadiz, the prince said “stronger business ties will allow our respective productive networks to a gain outward projection.”
According to the prince, increased inter-regional business cooperation is a “priority” for Spanish authorities and a constant goal of different meetings with their Latin American counterparts.
He hailed the stronger economic ties between Spain and Latin America in recent decades, in terms of both investment and trade, saying they have led to increased cooperation between businesses on both sides of the Atlantic.
“We now know each other better, especially from an economic and business perspective,” he said, adding that that familiarity should be “capitalized upon to explore new projects, ensure ever more fluid and stable economic relations and create business networks.”
Felipe said he was confident that during this month’s EU-Latin America and Caribbean Summit in Madrid that progress will be made “toward a more intense, stable and beneficial relationship between these two regions of the world.”
Spain recently announced cuts in the amount of high-level positions in the public sector and reductions in the number of state-run companies as it battles a large budget deficit.
The plan to shrink the size of the public sector was unveiled on April 30, the same day Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s administration announced that the unemployment rate had soared to above 20 percent.
But Zapatero said at a press conference this week in Brussels that it is “absolute madness” to think Spain will need the kind of aid package debt-laden Greece is receiving from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, pointing out that Spain’s ratio of debt to gross domestic product is 20 percentage points below the median for the EU’s 27 member-states. EFE