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Spain hopes to help through investment in reconstruction
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Reconstruction should be the focal point on completion of the disaster relief work, Carlos Blasco Villa, Spanish ambassador to China, said yesterday.

The number of collapsed buildings has made reconstruction a huge task for the cities and counties in Sichuan province, he said.

Blasco Villa said investment in the province is a great way, apart from donations, to help China rebuild the "heavenly kingdom", as Sichuan is sometimes known.

"I'll encourage more Spanish firms to invest in Sichuan. We will be very pleased if Spain can be involved in the reconstruction work," he said.

Blasco Villa said he was aware Chengdu was planning to be a transport hub for west China.

"I hope more Spanish companies can be involved in this plan," he said.

Blasco Villa said he had discussed the plan with Jiang Jufeng, governor of Sichuan, earlier this month.

He had also proposed the setting up of a Spanish consulate in Chengdu during his meeting with Jiang.

Blasco Villa flew to Chengdu on Saturday to welcome the arrival of an assistance flight from Spain, the first from a European Union country. The flight carried 7 tons of medical equipment.

Blasco Villa said the assistance would benefit up to 50,000 people for the next three months.

Spain has donated $1.5 million and the Spanish company Telefonica, $1.4 million toward disaster relief efforts.

(China Daily May 20, 2008)

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