A forum aimed at exploring new business opportunities between companies in Cuba and Spain opened here Thursday. The Session of Business Cooperation, which will run until Friday, features lectures on the \"updating\" of the Cuban economic model undertaken by the current government and the perspective of the Spanish economy, still reeling from the debt crisis. \"Bilateral economic relations remain positive, particularly in light industry, real estate and agricultural businesses,\" Estrella Madrigal, president of the Cuba Chamber of Commerce, said in the opening speech. Madrigal stressed that Spain participates in 33 foreign investment projects in Cuba, undertaken in \"an atmosphere of mutual respect.\" Her counterpart of the Spanish High Council of Chambers, Manuel Teruel, highlighted the possibility of boosting trade links between Madrid and Havana. Teruel said the companies from Spain are interested in increasing their presence and investment in Cuba. He said that the current trade between the two nations is \"more fluid than ever\" and urged that it be enhanced. Spanish companies are interested mainly in areas such as information technology, communications, iron and steel industry, and tourism. More than 200 offices and branches of Spanish companies are represented on the Caribbean island, and both nations have 50 joint ventures. Spain is Cuba\'s third largest trading partner after Venezuela and China, representing 7 percent of the total foreign trade of the island.