Is Spain a good place for business?
Well of course, we’re all aware that Spain is going through an economic crisis. It’s having to deal with a large public sector deficit, a banking crisis and high unemployment. But it’s important to put the market into some sort of context.
Spain remains the fourth largest economy in the Eurozone. It represents a market for UK goods and services of over £15 billion pounds every year. Some of its companies are amongst the biggest in the world and Spain has been enjoying significant export success. It has increased its exports by 18% over the last 3 years.
There is also a strong and positive perception of UK companies in Spain. Spain likes doing business with UK companies and Spanish people like UK goods and services. And of course Spain is a very easy place to come and do business. Just 2 hours away on a low-cost airline will get you here.
Where are the main opportunities for UK business?
Spain is a very diverse market and there are opportunities across many sectors here. However, we have particularly seen a lot of growth in areas such as healthcare and life sciences, and also in education. These are areas where the Spanish government has undertaken quite a lot of public sector reform. There are lots of opportunities through service delivery contracts here. And of course, there are also opportunities here for high quality consumer goods, whether they be in food and drink or in areas such as fashion and creativity.
We also have many British companies established here. Sanitas, known to us in the UK, of course, as Bupa, run many hospitals and hospital services across Spain. Jaguar Land Rover are one of the few car manufacturers in Spain to see continued growth in car sales. Companies such as British Telecom and Vodafone are very well established in the telecommunications and mobile sector.
Spain of course is a country of diverse regions. Opportunities exist not just here in Madrid but right across Spain, in Catalonia, down in the South in Andalucia, and in the North in the Basque region. What we do know is that companies who come here and take a look are seldom disappointed.
How can UKTI support UK companies interested in Spain?
Well, we’ve supported over 500 companies in the last year. The sorts of things we will do to help is to help them find distributors or agents, possibly Spanish partners to do business together in Spain and indeed in other countries. We can also provide services to help UK companies launch their products and services here in Spain to new customers. We’ve also helped a lot of companies recently understand Spain’s public sector reform packages where there are lots of new opportunities to do business. We’ve helped them to get in to see the right people, to understand the processes of public sector reform and to win contracts here in Spain. These services have ranged from contracts as diverse as employment training, healthcare service delivery and transport services.
We believe that there are opportunities for many more UK companies, like yours, to find new business in Spain. In UKTI, we are here to help and support you all through that process.