Spanish king Juan Carlos I invites Indian investment

Spanish king Juan Carlos I invites Indian investment Mumbai: Spanish king Juan Carlos I, who is on a four-day visit to India and is accompanied by a business delegation, on Thursday invited Indian investment to his country which is struggling under financial turbulences.

"India is a great nation with growing influence in this increasingly globalised world," the king said while addressing a luncheon meeting with business leaders here.

Adi Godrej, Rajiv Lal of IDFC, Nikhil Meswani of Reliance Industries, Analjit Singh of Max India, Tata Sons finance director Ishaat Hussain and Shahshi Ruia of the Essar Group, among others were present in the meeting.

The Spanish delegation comprises chief executives from across sectors like renewable energy, infrastructure and public transport, as also the European nation's ministers for foreign affairs and co-operation, defence, industry, energy and tourism.

Indo-Spanish trade in 2011 was close to USD 5 billion, a growth of almost 18 percent over 2010.

Spanish investment into the country is over USD 1.3 billion, while the investment into Spain is valued at around Euro 605 million.

Spain is among most-indebted Eurozone nations facing the sovereign debt crisis.

Spain has strong economic relations with India, Carolos said. "In the past few years, these relations have become closer, but there is certainly still room for improvement and growth."

Addressing potential concerns over the economic situation in Spain, he said, "we are carrying out far-reaching economic policy measures, and these have already begun to bear fruits" and invited Indian businesses to explore investment opportunities in Spain.

The King further said Spain's balance of trade will present a "significant surplus" in 2012.

Carlos and his delegation met the representatives from the industry lobby CII, where he was also accompanied by his minister of industry and energy Jose Manuel Soria, among others.

"We see India as a huge and very interesting country for business and industry collaboration," Soria was quoted as saying in a CII statement.

The King and the visiting delegation is put up at the Taj Mahal Hotel in South Mumbai, one of the sites targeted by Pakistani gunmen in the November 2008 attacks on the city.

The visiting delegation, led by the king is expected to visit the state legislature as well.

According to sources, he also had a meeting scheduled with Bollywood personalities, which had to be cancelled as filmdom was busy attending the memorial services for producer-director Yash Chopra, sources said.

The King will be leaving for New Delhi later this evening, where he is expected to hold a series of official meetings, including with President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.

In the Capital, the Spanish delegation is also expected to sign a mutual co-operation agreement for movie production and two more agreements on high-speed trains and highway building, the sources said.