Spain's King Juan Carlos on Wednesday expressed to visiting Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina the willingness of Spanish firms to invest in the Central American country thanks to the "good business climate."

In a speech at the royal palace prior to the luncheon in honor of the Guatemalan leader and his wife, the king also emphasized Spain's commitment to Central America to "work together" in the fight against crime.

Also attending the luncheon were Queen Sofia, Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and other top officials.

Juan Carlos placed special emphasis on the ties that unite the two countries and which translate into Spain being Guatemala's main source of development aid.

Spanish companies "without doubt will know how to value the commitment that your government has made to consolidate a good business climate within a framework of security and confidence for investments in your country," said the king, directing his words to the Guatemalan president.

One of the purposes of Perez Molina's visit to Spain is to seek investment for the project to build an interoceanic canal, and on that matter the monarch said that "macroeconomic stability" and the "positive views of the infrastructure and development projects" will stimulate businessmen to invest in the Central American nation.

Perez Molina, who is making his first visit to Spain as president, said that the Spanish and Guatemalan peoples are not only united by history and language but also by the "courage to move forward at the most difficult times."

Also present at the luncheon were a number of business executives. EFE