Chinese President Xi Jinping will be in Spain for a state visit from November 27 to 29, the first stop of his state visits to Spain, Argentina, Panama and Portugal.
During his trips to the four countries, President Xi will attend the 13th Group of 20 (G20) summit from November 30 to December 1 in Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina.
Xi's visit to Spain marks the first state visit of a Chinese president in 13 years after the 2005 visit of former Chinese President Hu Jintao.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and Spain as well as the 13th anniversary of their comprehensive strategic partnership.
China and Spain have experienced tremendous progress in collaboration in various fields since 1973 when the two countries established diplomatic ties, and Xi's visit to the European country will inject new impetus into the development of Sino-Spanish relations in the new era.
Intensified economic cooperation
The economic and trade relations between China and Spain have continuously advanced at a good pace in recent years.
China, as the main economic and trading partner in Asia of Spain, has become the major destination for Spanish exports as well as Spain's largest trading partner outside the European Union.
Trade and investment between the two countries have steadily increased in recent five years as bilateral trade volume rose from 24.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2013 to a record 31.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2017.
China exports to Spain products such as textiles, electromechanical products, chemical and light industry products, while Spain sends to China machinery equipment, plastics, minerals and pharmaceuticals.
Currently, the Chinese economic growth model is undergoing profound transformation featured by greater economic opening and further extension of the market, which provides new opportunities for Spanish companies to invest in China.
The engagement of Spanish companies in China has paralleled the evolution of Sino-Spanish relations. Statistics show that there have been over 700 Spanish companies do business in China with actual investment over 3.6 billion U.S. dollars in the fields of finance, energy, telecommunications and transport.
Meanwhile, Chinese investments in Spain have seen a rapid growth since the European debt crisis. By the end of 2017, the stock of Chinese investment in Spain had exceeded 2.3 billion U.S. dollars covering various areas including energy, finance, transport, telecommunications, infrastructure, agriculture, food industry and tourism.
The just-ended first China International Import Expo (CIIE) also represented a significant opportunity for Spain to expand exports to China.
Spain selected 36 enterprises for the CIIE, including companies from the food and beverage sectors, fashion and habitat companies, among others, aiming to brand its image to increase the recognition of Spanish products by Chinese consumers.
Numerous Chinese companies and customers visited Spanish pavilions during the exhibition, and an agreement was reached between the Tianjin Football Association and the Spanish Football Academy, a step forward for the China-Spanish cooperation in sports.