Ambassador Buchan’s Remarks at American Chamber of Commerce in Spain Welcome Cocktail
The Westin Palace, Madrid
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Good evening everyone. It’s a great pleasure to be here with you. I want to congratulate Jaime and all the members of the AmCham for your 100 years of success. On behalf of my wife, Hannah, and our three children, thank you for your welcome to Spain.
As many of you know, I enjoy a long connection with Spain. Almost 40 years. In 1980, I came to Spain for the first time. I was a young , curious student at the University of Valencia. I was eager to get to know the Spanish people, their language and their culture. I had a great time. A couple of years later, I convinced my parents to let me study at the University of Seville. I studied hard, but also experienced Semana Santa and the Feria. It was an amazing experience. It instilled in me the idea that building bridges between the United States and Spain was so important.
Spain is a vital ally, partner, and friend of the United States. We work together every day to promote peace, security and economic prosperity. We are united by history and common values. And today, over 50 million Spanish speakers live in my country, more than in all of Spain.
Today, your country is much more than the oranges I saw in Valencia. Today’s Spain is technology and innovation, and the oranges are still a great product. Economic opportunities and growth, that’s why I’m here. Spain is a market for our exports. A destination for our investment. A source of jobs in our own economy. We are allies of Spain. And vice versa.
The numbers speak for themselves. Spain has $67 billion invested in the United States. U.S. companies have $37 billion invested here. Furthermore, Spanish companies export to the U.S. a little more than it receives from the U.S. We have to work a bit on that.
I invite everyone to participate in the “SelectUSA” investment forum that will be held June 20-22 in Washington, D.C. Join me! Just contact Ricardo Pelaez.
As I have said other times, I’m here to listen and learn. My doors are always open to AmCham members and you can count on our embassy for support. We have a great opportunity to do more business together and create more prosperity. Thank you.
I propose a toast to a future of success for both our countries. ¡Salud!