MADRID, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Spanish companies can collaborate with Chinese partners to expand cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), said experts in the European country.
The modern Silk Road initiative "offers many opportunities for the Spanish business," Juan Lena, a former Spanish ambassador to Beijing, told Xinhua at a recent event held at CEU San Pablo University in Madrid and focused on Spain's role in reviving the ancient trade routes.
"It is interesting that Spanish companies come to China, collaborate there and seek opportunities in third markets such as North Africa," said Lena, noting that construction and infrastructure companies are the ones that can benefit the most from this collaboration in North Africa.
Enrique Fanjul, a professor of international relations at CEU San Pablo University, said that Spain, through its sea ports, can help China extend BRI cooperation to the other side of the Mediterranean Sea.
He encouraged all actors of Spanish society to find ways to take part.
Jose Maria Beneyto, director of the University Institute of European Studies, said that Spain should seek mutual benefit with the BRI, noting that if Spanish companies increase their presence in China, bilateral relations would be enhanced.
"Spaniards have a great interest in China," he said. "But we should have a greater presence there because there are Spanish companies that are leaders in sectors such as infrastructure, construction and renewable energies."
China-Spain trade has registered rapid growth in recent years. Now China is Spain's largest trading partner outside the European Union, and Spain is the sixth largest trade partner of China within the bloc.
Bilateral trade rose from 12 million U.S. dollars in 1973, when the two countries established diplomatic ties, to over 30.94 billion dollars in 2017.