King Felipe VI encourages U.S. investment in Spain

King Felipe VI Encourages U.S. Investment

King Felipe VI Encourages U.S. Investment

Last month, Felipe VI made his first official state visit to the United States as King. The four-day trip included a meeting in Washington with top executives organised by ICEX-Invest in Spain and the Economic and Commercial Office of the Spanish Embassy.

The monarch encouraged managing directors and presidents of a dozen North American multinationals with important interests in Spain to have confidence in the country’s economic recovery, innovation potential and investment possibilities.

The attendees represented different sectors of activity such as the pharmaceutical, information technologies, industrial and hotel industries. The big names included Microsoft, General Motors, Dow Chemicals and Marriott.

The US is the largest foreign investor in Spain in terms of stock, with 61.085 billion euros of investment and the creation of 300,000 jobs. It is also Spain’s main trading partner outside the European Union.

SPAIN: A SURE INVESTMENT BET IN EUROPE

Spain’s growth continues to outpace that of its eurozone peers. Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund praised the Spanish economy for holding its own against a backdrop of slowing global growth. It maintained its forecast for 3.1% GDP expansion in 2015.

The country’s recovery from a five-year downturn is refocusing international investors’ interest back to some of its key industries like infrastructure, renewable energy and tourism.

Some U.S. firms like Marriott Hotels showed their support for Spain even at the height of the crisis. In 2011, Marriott teamed up with Spanish hotel chain AC Hotels, to manage and franchise a new lodging co-brand across Europe and Latin America – “AC Hotels by Marriott.”

Apart from calling on U.S. business leaders to expand their footprint to Spain at this key point in the economic cycle, or indeed increase their existing presence, King Felipe also highlighted the importance of deepening collaboration in other markets such as Latin America and Africa.

TRANSATLANTIC COOPERATION TO CREATE JOBS

Despite its growth recovery, Spain is still facing a huge challenge in the shape of its high unemployment rate, particularly amongst young people. The youth jobless rate currently stands at just under 49 percent.

To improve this situation, King Felipe said the country needs to accelerate productivity and improve education and training: areas in which foreign investment is key.

He was optimistic about the planned Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), currently being negotiated between the European Union and the U.S.

For the Spanish monarch, this will be an opportunity to promote business and create job opportunities, particularly in sectors like the automobile industry.

U.S. firms like Ford Motors are already big players in Spain’s auto industry, which is one of the most productive in Europe thanks to low labour costs.

For information on investment and legal services in Spain, please contact corporate law firm Argali Abogados.

Leave a Reply