Spain's experience with large infrastructure projects and its familiarity with the public-private partnership model were the focus of Thursday's first day of sessions here at the 2nd United States-European Union Forum in Miami.

"Spanish companies have more than 30 years' experience in highway, railroad, port and airport projects, and they are (able) to export that knowledge," the Spanish secretary of state for Infrastructure, Transport and Housing, Rafael Catala, told Efe.

He said that Spanish companies last year signed $39 billion euros ($53.4 billion) worth of contracts for infrastructure projects and concessions worldwide.

Thus, the Embassy of Spain's Miami-based trade commissioner, Mario Buisan, said that "there is no other country that has so much experience in the concession model."

He gave as an example the recently-finished emblematic project involving Interstate 595, in South Florida, which "proved that this model is viable and beneficial not only for Spanish companies but also for the development of the United States."

Buisan said that six of the 10 concession firms on the international level are Spanish and that almost all of them have a presence in the United States.

"Miami is a double bridge with the United States and Latin America," Antonio Lecea, the principal adviser for Economic and Financial Affairs with the EU Delegation to the United States, told Efe.

"There are a large number of European firms established in Florida that have created 120,000 jobs in the state, but there are possibilities for more," he said. EFE