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Spain, WA swap ideas

ALTHOUGH investment has been limited in the past, Spain’s honorary WA consul Angel Quintela says business is booming in the exchange of ideas.

Spain has honorary consuls in all states, and full-time consul-generals in Melbourne and Sydney. Mr Quintela, honorary consul in Perth for the past 14 years, said the late 1990s had shown an increase in staff exchanges in fields such as engineering and science.

And while there has been little immigration from Spain since the 1980s, leaving a Spanish population of around 2,000 in WA, tourism is increasing.

“In 1980, we had maybe 50 Spaniards coming into Australia on holidays. In 1998 there was 10 times that,” Mr Quintela said.

The number of Australians wanting to live and work in Spain is also rising, and the visa requirement for tourists ended on August 1.

Mr Quintela does not expect Europe’s progressing unification to affect his role as consul, although the euro currency is likely to help maintain the relative strength of Spain’s local currency against the Australian dollar.

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