China, Spain sign 8 deals worth 1b euros

Updated: 2011-04-13 17:48
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BEIJING - Visiting Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Wednesday that Spanish and Chinese enterprises had signed eight deals worth 1 billion euros ($1.44 billion).

Agreements were reached on cooperation in sectors such as finance, wind energy, helicopter and valve manufacture, according to a statement from the Spanish embassy in China.

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Spain's Santander bank and China's ZTE Corporation signed an agreement on financing the export of telecommunications equipment. ZTE Corporation is a leading global provider of telecommunication equipment and network solutions, and operates in more than 140 countries.

Spain's Gamesa signed agreements with China Resources Power and China Datang Corporation Renewable Power Co Ltd, in which the Spanish manufacturer will provide the two Chinese firms, respectively, 150 wind turbines with an installed capacity of 300 megawatts.

Zapatero, who started Tuesday a four-day visit to China, said his trip would focus on economic issues and developing relations with China.

Last year, Chinese exports to Spain increased 35 percent and the number rose 60 percent in January, Zapatero said.

In recent months, debt qualification agency Moody's lowered Spain's sovereign debt ratings twice, saying the cost of restructuring the Spanish financial system was higher than expected and that funding of it would increase in the country's deficit.

China currently holds 12 percent of Spain's government debt, up from less than 4 percent, Zapatero said.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Tuesday that China would like to continue to buy Spain's government debt.

"China's promise has enhanced Spain's confidence and contributes to its economic stability, recovery and reforms," Zapatero said, expressing his gratitude to the Chinese government.

Besides, Spain and China can conduct cooperation in infrastructure projects as Spain has many prestigious companies in that sector, Zapatero said.

The prime minister said 49 percent of Spanish airports need to be privatized and foreign investment and management is needed.

On Friday, Zapateo will also attend the annual conference of the Bo'ao Forum for Asia in China's southern island province of Hainan.

"The Bo'ao Forum is the Davos Forum of Asia. Attending the forum is important for Spain, a representative from the Eurozone," Zapatero said.

"Asia will lead the world economy in the next 10 years. Any country should know, without a strong presence in Asia, it will lose opportunities for development," Zapatero said.