Boasting "one of the most open economies in the world," Spain is an ideal place for Brazilian firms to invest, King Juan Carlos said here Monday as he hosted a luncheon for Brazil's president, Dilma Rousseff.

The Spanish monarch gave a toast at the beginning of the luncheon to the ties and affinities existing between Spain and Brazil.

In her address, Rousseff said that speaking multilaterally, "Europe and Spain have an ally in Brazil ready to take part in any pact favoring the recovery and growth of global demand and employment."

The king spoke of the need for the two countries to promote ever closer trade relations as part of a growing "interdependence" that can be observed in the fact that Spain is Brazil's biggest European investor and the second in the world.

"Spain has already become the European base for many Ibero-American companies, and that's what we would like for Brazilian firms as well," Juan Carlos said.

Rousseff recalled that last year's bilateral trade worth a record 8 billion euros ($10.2 billion) is still "small" compared with the tremendous potential offered by economic relations between the two countries.

The luncheon followed talks between Rousseff and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Also present were the two countries' foreign and education ministers and Brazil's minister of science and technology.

The Brazilian president, who participated over the weekend in the 22nd Ibero-American Summit in the southern Spanish city of Cadiz, noted there the need to combine policies of austerity with others promoting growth. EFE