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Palabras de Su Alteza Real el Príncipe de Asturias en la reunión sectorial "Oportunidades sobre el Desarrollo de los Transportes e Infraestructuras" del XVII Foro España-Estados Unidos

Jersey, Nueva Jersey, 23.06.2012

P

atrons, Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Princess and I, once again, thank the United States-Spain Council and the Spain-US Council Foundation (Fundación Consejo España-EEUU) for giving us this opportunity to participate, for the first time, in one of the working sessions of the annual meeting of this Forum. We are pleased to be accompanied here by an important Spanish contingent from some of the top Spanish companies leading in the transportation and infrastructure sectors. As you know, their presence and/or interests in this great country have grown quite remarkably in recent years.

I wish to stress the importance that transportation and infrastructure have in maintaining or increasing territorial cohesion, together with their decisive role for trade and tourism to develop, flourish and maximize their potential.

Spanish companies are perfectly aware of this strategic dimension and in recent years have won worldwide recognition as experts in the management of highways, airports and logistic networks. They have also successfully implemented rail projects in over ninety countries all over the world.

This year, the Spanish high speed train celebrates its 20th anniversary. Back then we were proud to present the first line connecting Madrid southbound to Ciudad Real, Cordoba and Seville. It was the fabulous year of Sevilla's Universal Expo and Barcelona's Olympic Games. Today, with close to 2.900 km in service, this network is a world leader in length (Nº1 in Europe, Nº2 in the World), safety, modernity, versatility, operational or commercial speed and punctuality.

The experience and technological knowledge achieved have significantly increased the competitiveness of our companies, enabling them to win major international contracts such as the high-speed railway line from Medina to Mecca, with a budget of 6,7 billion Euros. This is an excellent example of collaboration between public and private enterprise, working towards a common goal.

I would also like to mention the excellent understanding between the United States and Spain in this area, and particularly between the Spanish Ministry of Development and the US Department of Transportation, which has resulted in the Memorandum of Cooperation signed in July 2010 between the two administrations and which intensifies bilateral relations, especially in the field of transport.

I am confident that these contacts will allow for Spain to increase its participation in the US Administration's plans to develop a new and modern transport network in the United States.

Let me conclude by stating my conviction that this annual Spain-USA Council Forum will contribute to strengthen yet further the economic, financial, cultural, political and professional links between Spanish and US society and institutions which, I have no doubt, will generate new and profitable projects for both nations.

Thank you very much.

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