His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa,Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister todayattended the Bahrain-Spain Business Forum, in the presence His Majesty King JuanCarlos I of Spain.The forum, which aims to identify opportunities to strengthen bilateral ties betweenBahrain and Spain, was held at Shaikh Hamad Palace in Gudaibiya.His Majesty King Juan Carlos I first addressed the forum, highlighting thelongstanding ties between the Kingdom of Spain and the Kingdom of Bahrain, andthanking His Majesty King Hamad for the invitation to visit Bahrain.His Majesty King Juan Carlos I expressed Spain’s commitment to growing bilateralrelations with Bahrain and the wider GCC, in particular across trade, investment,and cultural exchanges. In this regard he particularly emphasised the expertise ofSpain’s private sector in the fields of renewable energy, informationcommunications technology, and transport infrastructure – all areas that holdstrong potential of cooperation with Bahrain.His Majesty King Juan Carlos I concluded by stressing the importance ofinternational cooperation and coordination to ensure security and stability in theregion. To this end he welcomed the leadership shown by His Majesty King Hamad,and the value of such meetings and visits to enhancing relations and strengtheningcoordination.Following the speech of His Majesty King Juan Carlos I, His Royal Highness PrinceSalman, the Crown Prince, addressed the Forum.His Royal Highness highlighted the historical and cultural legacy that has linkedSpain with the Arab World since the eighth century and the ongoing opportunities toenhance trade and cultural exchange.His Royal Highness praised the forum for reinforcing the crucial role of the privatesector in maximising opportunities for cooperation between the two countries.Addressing His Majesty King Juan Carlos, His Royal Highness expressed theKingdom’s deep interest in expanding ties between Spain and Bahrain, building onthe strength of relations that have existed over 40 years.He further highlighted the 2008 agreement to protect economic and tradecooperation between the two countries as a key milestone of bilateral relations.His Royal Highness concluded by extending a warm welcome to Spanish companieswishing to conduct business in Bahrain, highlighting the Kingdom’s mature market,connectivity, highly skilled workforce and transparent regulatory system.His Majesty King Juan Carlos was joined by a high level delegation ofrepresentatives from the Spanish government in addition to a range of majorSpanish businesses from the defence, infrastructure, transport and financial sectors.The Forum was then addressed by government ministers from Spain and Bahrain,highlighting the prospects for further cooperation between the two countries. Speeches were given by His Excellency Mr. Pedro Morenés Eulate, Minister of Defenceof Spain; His Excellency Dr. Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Minister ofState for Defence Affairs of Bahrain; His Excellency Mr. José Manuel Soria López,Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism of Spain; His Excellency Dr. Hassan A.Fakhro, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Bahrain; Her Excellency Mrs. AnaMaría Pastor Julián, Minister of Public Works and Infrastructures of Spain; HisExcellency Mr. Essam Khalaf, Minster of Works of Bahrain, and; His Excellency Mr. Rasheed Mohammed Almaraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain.The Forum also included a discussion panel on the various business and investmentopportunities available to Bahraini and Spanish companies. For Bahrain, Mr. JawadAlhawaj, Vice Chairman of Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Dr. EsamFakhro, – Chairman of Abdullah Yousef Fakhro & Sons Group; Mr. AbdulrahmanJawahery, President, Gulf Petrochemical Industries Co. (GPIC); Mr. MahmoodAlkooheji, Chief Executive of Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company; Dr. Samer Aljishi, Managing Director of BFG International spoke during the panel.Spain was represented by Mr. Javier Monzón, President of Indra; Mr. Pablo VázquezVega, President of Ingeniería y Economía del Transporte (INECO), and; Mr. JuanBejar, CEO of Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC).The Forum concluded with a range of business to business (B2B) talks, aimed atfurther exploring investment opportunities.