Spanish investors and San Antonio eye investment

Washington, Mar 3 (EFE).- San Antonio, Texas, the seventh-largest city in the United States, wants to attract Spanish investment and the attention of Spain to its historic heritage, especially its Franciscan missions, a religious and cultural phenomenon unique in our time.

San Antonio could quickly come to represent for the large Spanish companies an inviting port of entry into the United States, as Miami has been for many years, Spanish Ambassador to the United States Ramon Gil-Casares told Efe upon his return from an official trip to the south-central Texas city.

One of the main Spanish banks, BBVA, is expanding in San Antonio under the name BBVA Compass Bancshares Inc., just like Atento, the firm that manages Telefonica's customer service line, the San Antonio Express News reported this weekend.

Other Spanish companies, such as Repsol, Iberdrola and Abengoa, have also moved into Texas because of its weight within the U.S. economy and its growing links with Latin America.

The Spanish envoy last Wednesday delivered a speech focusing on economic issues at one of the city's research centers, the World Affairs Council, and on Thursday he participated in a meeting of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

On Friday, Gil-Casares met with Congressman Joaquin Castro, the twin brother of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, a rising Hispanic figure within the Democratic Party.