Spain commemorates during these days October 12th, our National Day. The discovery of America was a unique event in the history of mankind. Never before had a single human undertaking enlarged the horizons of our world as Columbus and the Spanish Crown did with their journey into the unknown. But discovering a continent means much more than arriving there first. It means revealing it, incorporating it to the mainstream of world history. This is what we celebrate today, together with our Ibero - American brothers and with the rest of mankind.
Today, Spain is finally turning around the corner of another historic challenge, namely the worst world recession for almost a century. With determined and sustained reforms, we are managing to regain competitiveness. We now have a current account surplus and Spain is attracting inflows of foreign investment. Last week, international financial institutions revised upwards our growth projections for next year. The public finances have been brought back to sustainable levels and the resilience of the financial sector allows it to stand on its own two feet. Much remains to be done, not least in the area of more integrated European economic governance, but the worst is clearly behind us.
This is reflected in our relationship with Kuwait. Due to the close ties of friendship between His Majesty the King and His Highness the Emir, the two Governments enjoy excellent relations. Next year, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. It is no coincidence that the ties between Spain and Kuwait focus more and more on strengthening economic exchanges. Twenty Spanish companies have volunteered to sponsor the events that we have organized in Kuwait around our National Day. Many more of our companies are opening branches here. I am proud of them, because they represent the best that our country has to offer from infrastructure to retailing, from renewable energies to telecommunications. They come with an excellent group of qualified professionals that are eager to contribute to the development of this new partnership between our two countries.
For the same reasons, I am working to streamline and facilitate the visa procedures for the thousands of Kuwaiti friends that visit Spain each year, within the existing European norms and procedures. Just like Columbus discovered America, a few decades ago Kuwaitis discovered to the world the joys of Costa del Sol and other tourist attractions in Spain, and they have been returning ever since! I intend to continue to promote these exchanges as much as possible, in close coordination with our European partners, because I am convinced that it is in our interest to expand all opportunities at hand to improve the mobility for tourists, entrepreneurs, students and all our Kuwaiti friends. At the same time, I wanted to celebrate our National Day here bringing la Costa del Sol a little closer to Kuwait. We have prepared a wonderful reception at The Regency Hotel, where two excellent Spanish chefs, from one of the most prestigious in Marbella, the Villa Padierna, will be cooking for several days (October 21st – 25th).
Let me end with a wish. On October 12th next year, we will be looking at half a century of intense diplomatic activity between our two countries. Let us start working today to continue to develop a model of relationships based on mutual respect and affection, and geared to the satisfaction of mutual interests for the benefit of our peoples, so that the second fifty years will be even more fruitful than the first.
H.E. Angel Losada
Ambassador of Kingdom of Spain