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José Luis Martínez Almeida: "Emirates and Israel are a great example with the Abraham Accords"

The Mayor of Madrid was in charge of closing the first edition of the forum 'Madrid and The New Middle East', which has become a great opportunity to promote investment and trade relations between the Emirates, Israel and Spain
Madrid and The New Middle East

PHOTO/ATALAYAR/NEREA BELMONTE  -   José Luis Martínez Almeida

José Luis Martínez Almeida, Mayor of Madrid, was the authority in charge of putting the finishing touch to the first edition of the 'Madrid and The New Middle East' meeting.  

The head of Madrid City Council and Deputy Mayoress Begoña Villacís took part in the forum organised in the Spanish capital, which aimed to establish itself as an economic summit of reference to promote investment and trade relations between the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Spain. 

The main challenge of this historic meeting is to locate the main business and collaboration opportunities between different sectors with great projection and future for the business communities of these three countries in different economic and technological fields.  

Ángel Asensio, President of the Madrid Chamber of Commerce, was in charge of introducing José Luis Martínez Almeida and highlighted the ambitious project of this forum that has the vocation of continuity to lay the foundations of economic cooperation between the Emirati, Israeli and Spanish countries.  

Madrid and The New Middle East
Ángel Asensio

Asensio indicated that the Madrid Chamber of Commerce is at the disposal of all those who want to invest. "We support the investment that comes to Spain together with Invest in Madrid, advising all projects that wish to invest in Madrid," said the President of the Madrid Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Madrid supports the export and internationalisation of businesses and imports. Ángel Asensio pointed out that 73% of foreign investments that come to Spain stay in Madrid, a city that has reasonable taxation and welcomes anyone who wants to invest. The president of the Madrid Chamber of Commerce pointed out that the Community of Madrid is a desirable destination and that the City Council supports it with collaboration agreements and is also a "strong ally to expand the business ecosystem". 

"Business generates employment and, as a result, well-being. The mayor contributes to promoting the business fabric that is essential for everyone. Madrid is one of the most attractive world capitals to live and work in and to develop economic activities", explained Asensio, who pointed out that the mayor knows how to transform difficult situations such as the pandemic into springboards that serve to multiply Madrid's options.

Madrid and The New Middle East
Ángel Asensio and José Luis Martínez Almeida

Mayor José Luis Martínez Almeida thanked the work of the entrepreneurs, without whom it would be difficult to make progress in Madrid. He also highlighted the work of the promoters and organisers of the successful forum 'Madrid and The New Middle East', including Gerardo Seeliger, president of Madrid Open City, David Hatchwell, president of EXCEM Group, Borja Gervás, president of Access UAE, and Rodrigo de la Mota, director of Invest in Madrid.  

"Madrid is in its best situation in contemporary times and it is going to get better," said Martínez Almeida. The Mayor of Madrid pointed out that few cities have as many factors as Madrid and that it is necessary to reflect this on the international scene through the economy and commercial exchange, and this event hosted by the Spanish capital serves to do just that.  

"This forum allows us to generate opportunities for knowledge between societies and the establishment of solid relations", Almeida pointed out. Furthermore, the head of the Madrid City Council stated that this meeting is built on two countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Israel, which set a great example with the Abraham Accords, which allowed diplomatic relations to be established between the two countries, laying the foundations for the path towards peace in the Middle East and demonstrating that "if there is dialogue, any obstacle can be overcome".  

Madrid and The New Middle East
José Luis Martínez Almeida

"Madrid is a model of success", according to the Mayor of Madrid, who defended the capital as a "friendly city that welcomes everyone". Martínez Almeida also pointed out that the Spanish capital favours public and private cooperation and attracts and retains talent, highlighting the work of important business schools. Meanwhile, he also highlighted that Madrid and Spain are the gateway from the Middle East to an important market such as Latin America, which is not a minor detail.  

The Mayor of Madrid pointed out that the capital also wants to continue lowering taxes in order to be even more competitive internationally. "Lisbon has more tax advantages than Madrid and this needs to be improved in order to become more business friendly", explained the mayor, who also pointed out that Madrid is now one of the top 10 cities in the world in terms of quality of life. 

José Luis Martínez Almeida defended the idea of maintaining sustainability and social justice in tandem with economic growth and investment, something that is a "challenge for big cities". He also explained that Madrid is a city that is extraordinarily open to all, very well prepared to organise major events and with a privileged geopolitical situation as a gateway to Latin America from the Middle East. 

Madrid and The New Middle East

For her part, Begoña Villacís left the main idea that we must all work together to promote development. The private sector must work together with the public sector for the common benefit of society, as the Deputy Mayoress of Madrid explained. Begoña Villacís pointed out that she professionally comes from the private sector, which she considers very important for the development of a city. The Deputy Mayoress of Madrid stated that "Madrid City Council trusts in the private sector" and that this private sector should not be at odds with the public sector.  

The Deputy Mayoress of Madrid indicated that work must be joint and mutual trust in all areas. "Everyone must work together, employers with workers and men and women too", said Villacís, who added that "we need a society that trusts". "I don't want to compete against other cities like Barcelona, but to compete with them", she explained. The city councillor also pointed out that the recession in the private sector is something that should worry people because when you are on that side you realise how important this productive sector is.  

Villacís stressed how proud she is of her work at the head of the Madrid City Council. "I am proud, it is the best job of my life", said the Deputy Mayoress at a time when managing is difficult due to the pandemic and other complicated situations such as "the war in Ukraine or the high inflation that exists at the moment".

Madrid and The New Middle East
Begoña Villacís

Begoña Villacís extolled the virtues of the Spanish capital. "Madrid is wonderful," she said of the capital city, which offers a high level of well-being, happiness and the highest life expectancy in the country, which in turn has the highest life expectancy in the world.  

"It is easy for me to 'sell' the image of Madrid as the best city in the world," said Begoña Villacís. The Deputy Mayoress also highlighted the special opportunities offered by the Spanish capital, with low taxes and security for anyone who wants to invest.

Madrid and The New Middle East
Begoña Villacís

Villacís also highlighted Madrid as a welcoming city. "Anyone who comes to Madrid is considered a Madrileño and that is true," said the Deputy Mayoress, who advocated cooperation and the offer of opportunities for entrepreneurs in the most reliable city.  

Finally, the head of the Madrid City Council expressed her hope that 'Madrid and The New Middle East' will be held again in the near future and that this will be "the beginning of a long relationship".