The year 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Spain. At the end of March, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez made his first visit to China, conveying the good intentions of both sides to deepen the “Belt and Road Initiative” cooperation and achieve mutual benefits and a win-win situation.
According to the official statistics, the trade volume of goods between China and Spain exceeded the 50 billion dollar mark for the first time in 2022, reaching 51.5 billion dollars. This makes China the first trade partner of Spain outside the EU and Spain the fifth trade partner of China in the EU.
During the visit, Prime Minister Sánchez announced that the new Foro de Turismo España China (Spain-China Tourism Forum) would be held in Madrid in July, jointly organized by the Spanish National Tourist Office (Tourespaña) and the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Furthermore, Sánchez met the chairmans and CEOs of eight Chinese travel agencies, who spoke highly of the safety and accessibility of travel in Spain. Sánchez emphasized that the Spanish government will make the necessary efforts to facilitate the issuance of visas for Chinese tourists.
At the same time, Spain and the Chinese General Administration of Customs signed a phytosanitary agreement (sendos protocolos fitosanitarios) which allows Spain to export almonds and persimmons to China. This agreement expands the scope of the previously established bilateral agreement. China is a major almond consumer in the world, and 50,000 tons of almonds are expected to be sent to China by 2025. This agreement benefits almost all Spanish producers of almonds and persimmons, especially in the autonomous region of Andalusia, Spain’s most productive region.