MADRID (AP) — The emir of Qatar says his energy-rich Gulf state is set to boost investments in Spain by 4.7 billion euros ($4.9 billion) in the coming years, Spanish media reported.
Emir Shekih Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani made the announcement at a gala dinner held Tuesday by Spanish King Felipe VI at the Royal Palace in Madrid, according to state news agency EFE. The dinner also drew key business leaders, including some of Spain’s top energy companies.
The emir is set to “sign agreements” when he sits down Wednesday with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez at Moncloa Palace, the government seat. The meeting takes place on the second day of his first state visit to Spain, with the two leaders also attending the inaugural Spain-Qatar business forum.
The details of the investments have not been made public and didn’t specifically mention energy. But with Europe scrambling to find alternatives to Russian energy, Qatar has been sought out to help fill the gap with exports of liquefied natural gas.
Spain leads Europe with six LNG processing plants at its ports. Beyond aiming to diversify its own energy mix, Spain is pushing to become an energy hub for Europe.
Spain also is launching a series of public investment projects using its share of the EU’s pandemic recovery funds, aiming to modernize its economy. With a heavy focus on sustainability and digitization, the projects are designed to encourage major private-sector investments.