Al-Suwaidi also visited Loyola University, where he had the opportunity to talk to students

The Emirati ambassador offers business opportunities to companies in Seville


The Emirati ambassador continues to strengthen ties with Andalusian companies. As he did in Cordoba, Majid al-Suwaidi met with several Sevillian companies at the headquarters of Extenda, a tool of the Andalusian Regional Government that aims to promote the internationalisation of Andalusian companies.

Rosario Alarcón, director of Andalucía Global, was in charge of inaugurating this meeting between the ambassador and the Sevillian business sector. "The Emirates is one of the best partners Andalusia can count on," said Alarcón. The director of Andalucía Global pointed out that Andalusia was the fourth autonomous community that exported the most to the United Arab Emirates.

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Moreover, despite the pandemic, these ties have not been weakened, in fact, "the Andalusia brand has been gaining weight in the market", as he assured. With regard to Extenda, Alarcón underlined its support for the region's companies, also referring to the entity's headquarters in Dubai.

"Investing in Andalusia is now easier than ever," said Alarcón. The president of Andalucía Global presented the autonomous region as a bridge between America, Europe and Africa, as well as highlighting its key position between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea.

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Alarcón referred to the Junta de Andalucía's efforts to promote companies on the global stage through the Strategy for the Internationalisation of the Andalusian Economy 2021-2027.

Al-Suwaidi: "There are more commonalities than differences".

Al-Suwaidi then explained aspects and characteristics of Emirati society and trade in the country. The ambassador stressed his country's commitment to tolerance and understanding between cultures due to the large number of foreigners living in the country.

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The diplomat assured that all citizens, regardless of their origin, religion or culture, have equal opportunities. In this aspect, related to inter-religious understanding, al-Suwaidi recalled the Pope's historic visit to the country in 2019. "There are more commonalities than differences," he said.

On the other hand, he also re-emphasised the role of women in Emirati society. "Seventy per cent of university graduates are women," he reported. This quality, according to al-Suwaidi, is "the key to the success of the country's society".

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He also praised his government's measures to diversify the economy and achieve sustainable development. In this regard, he expressed his admiration for the "Emirati leadership for having a transformative vision".

With regard to relations with Spain, he assured that these are at their best moment. The ambassador recalled the recent cooperation between the two countries during the evacuations from Afghanistan last August.

On the other hand, he pointed out that "economic relations are not as strong as they could be", calling for these ties to be strengthened.

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Finally, María Lara, Director of Promotion, Market Development and External Network, outlined several advantages of investing in Andalusia. Like Alarcón, she pointed out the region's privileged geographical position.

Lara underlined the great development of infrastructures, highlighting the five international airports, the port of Algeciras, one of the most important in the Mediterranean, the roads and the high-speed trains.

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With regard to the technology sector, Lara listed the 10 technology parks in the autonomous community, as well as the universities and engineering schools. Within these educational centres, Lara highlighted the high number of foreign students. Andalusia has "an open society, something we share with the Emirates", she said. "If any company wants to invest in the region, they will receive all the help they need," she added.

In addition to this meeting with several Sevillian companies, al-Suwaidi met in the morning with Enrique Millo, Secretary for External Action, at the Casa Rosa. This emblematic Sevillian mansion was built in 1894 on the orders of Eugenia de la Rocha, Marquise of Angulo. The Casa Rosa is currently the headquarters of the General Secretariat for External Action, although years ago it was the headquarters of the Presidency of the Andalusian Regional Government. Al-Suwaidi and Millo walked through the gardens of the palace, where the ambassador offered to bring a tree from the Emirates to the Secretary of External Action.

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Following this reception, al-Suwaidi held a meeting with Isidoro Carrillo, director of the international area of the company Ayesa, and German del Real, director of the technological area. Carillo and Del Real began the meeting by detailing several of their international projects. Al-Suwaidi, for his part, was very interested in Ayesa starting to work with his country. He highlighted the importance of Dubai on an international level.

The Andalusian company has several agreements in countries in the region, such as Saudi Arabia and Oman. Ayesa has multiple projects in sustainable mobility, smart cities and digital transformation.

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Al-Suwaidi talks to Loyola University students

To conclude a day focused on commercial ties, the ambassador travelled to Loyola University in the Andalusian capital. Al-Suwaidi was close to the young people, chatting and even joking with them.

Borja Martín, director of international relations at the educational centre, made a brief presentation of the ambassador, recalling his studies and his professional and diplomatic career. Rosario Alarcón was also present at the university event, where she encouraged the students to travel to the Emirates if they had the opportunity, either for work or to continue their academic training.

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Al-Suwaidi, aiming to combat stereotypes that his country may have, has spoken to young people about modern, open Emirati society. "Stereotypes often do not represent reality," he said. Later, during the round of questions, the ambassador spoke about the agreements with Israel and the Palestinian cause, in addition, he pointed out the valuable work of the Three Cultures Foundation.

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