Spain is on course to be one of the fastest-growing major economies as the recovery from the coronavirus crisis accelerates.

This is according to Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez during a visit to the United States, who added that Spain’s recovery plans need the help of U.S. investment.

Spain’s economy grew by around 2.4% in Q2 compared to the first quarter during the recovery from the pandemic, and is on track to grow 6% this year and 7% in 2022, the Prime Minister said on Wednesday.

Sánchez told a Reuters newsmaker event that employment in Spain rose by 4.9% in the second quarter, adding that he hoped Spain would soon become “the fastest-growing economy in the developed world”, thanks to planned government reforms in areas including pensions, labour and the environment.

During the first wave of the pandemic in 2020 and the strict lockdown, Spain’s GDP plummeted 10.8%.

Sánchez added that the country is aiming to attract $500 billion in private investment, adding to a recovery programme financed by EU aid. The PM also said energy, education and digitalisation projects would appeal to U.S. investors.

He commented: “We are expecting to leverage more or less $500 billion in private investments and we are looking forward to having the collaboration and participation of the U.S. private sector.”

Spain is due to receive €140 billion in European recovery funding, half of which is in the form of grants. In 2021, Spain is set to obtain €90 billion.

Sánchez is currently on a visit to the U.S. to boost interest among businesses to invest in Spain. He’s heading to New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco and meeting with chief executives of Netflix, HBO and Disney, amongst others, Bloomberg reports.

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