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Spanish investment in LatAm "is secure," Madrid says

SPAIN LATIN AMERICA | 06 de febrero de 2013

Spain's secretary of state for International Cooperation and Ibero-America, Jesus Gracia (l), listens to the head of the Dominican Dermatological and Skin Surgery Institute, Dr. Rafael Isa (r), in Santo Domingo. EFE

Santo Domingo, Feb 6 (EFE).- Spanish investment in Latin America "is secure" and is producing good results, Spain's secretary of state for International Cooperation and Ibero-America said here Wednesday.

The problems affecting Spanish firms in several Latin American countries are due, in part, to the elevated "intensity of relations" between Spain and those nations, Jesus Gracia said in an interview with Efe in Santo Domingo.

"What is seen and what attracts attention are the conflicts, but even in a country like Bolivia, with two or three cases of differences surrounding Spanish firms, there are many companies that are having very good results," he said, citing the contracts won by Spain's Sacyr to build power plants in that Andean nation.

Regarding the cases of two Spanish companies in the Dominican Republic that were awarded damages in disputes with Dominican authorities, Gracia said that both matters had been handled with the government in Santo Domingo and expressed confidence that they will be resolved.

Gracia emphasized the commitment by Spain's Aecid foreign aid agency to Latin America and said that both the region's democratic stability and favorable economic situation "in large measure have to do" with Spain's support.

He emphasized the projects Aecid is undertaking to strengthen local institutions, improve education and provide potable water, programs that "include all the countries" and run "parallel to economic growth."

The difficult economic situation in Spain, however, implies restrictions on the resources allocated to aid, which will now be administered in a manner adjusted to conform to the new reality, he said.

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