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García- Margallo meets Business People from Asian Multinationals in Barcelona

García- Margallo meets Business People from Asian Multinationals in Barcelona

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  • The Minister opened the exhibition "1986-2014, Spain in Europe"

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Manuel García-Margallo, presided a working lunch with representatives of the main Asian multinational companies established in Barcelona, ​​as well as with Spanish people with interests in Asia. In the morning the Minister, together with the State Secretary for the European Union, Iñigo Méndez de Vigo, and the Director General of Casa Asia, Ramon Mª Moreno, opened the divulgative exhibition "1986-2014 Spain in Europe" owing to the elections to the European Parliament next 25th of May.

In his apparence before the media, the Minister has pointed out that the business working lunch has served "to exchange experiences with the purpose to make the country more attractive for foreign investment, to attract savings to finance our economy, and to attract investments to create employment, to favour exportations that create work positions and to help our companies conquer new markets”.

García-Margallo has said that the figures of the last years are promising, because Spanish exportations absorb 38% of GDP, “which shows that there is a change of tendency and that we are moving towards a new economic period that leaves debts behind and moves towards the promotion of productivity and the recovery of competitiveness”. For example, the Minister explained that last year Spanish companies won contests abroad for more than 50 thousand million Euros, competing in sectors such as renewable energies, water management, airports or infrastructures.

Among Asian companies that have taken part in the lunch we highlight Nissan, Huawei, Singapore Airlines, Hutchinson Whampoa Limited, China National Bluestar or China Shippìng. Representatives of local companies such as Port de Barcelona, Free Trade Zone Consortium, La Caixa, Abertis or Roca Junyent have also attended. The Minister has stated that business people have let him know about their worries in the development of their activities and the difficulties to convince multinational groups they belong to to continue investing in Spain, as well as to help the country create work positions.

Moving on to other issues, Margallo has refered to the sovereignist debate and has called back the Generalitat of Catalonia to prove with empirical data the consequences of a unilateral declaration of independence that, he assured, would be "a catastrophe for Catalonia and very harmful for the rest of Spain”.

A New Globalised Scenario
In the morning, García-Margallo, who opened the exhibition “1986-2014 Spain in Europe”, highlighted in his presentation that the world is experiencing a revolutionary phenomenon such as globalisation. A “new and unknown” process that Margallo has summarised in three characteristics: the power of multinational economic groups, technological revolution −that has made possible the transformation we are experiencing−  and the speed at which the change is produced. He has used two Asian countries as examples, China and India, which in the 21st century doubled their richness every ten years.

Countries such as these, those that used to be called "emergent", star many of the structural changes caused by globalization pointed out by García-Margallo. On the one hand the competence generated after its apparition in markets, emigration of Western companies to other countries, the change in destination of direct foreign investments (from the United States to "emergents") and the importance of credit in the development of any economy. Eight of every ten of the greatest exporting companies from China, “the country in fashion”, are from the West. And if in 1995 Chinese exportations in sophisticated and high tecnology products only represented 7%, in 2007 already represent 33%.

Spain-Europe, 28 Years of Relationship
The exhibition “1986-2014. Spain in Europe” is made up of photographs, videos and texts with the purpose to reflect and raise awareness to citizens before the importance of the next elections to the European Parliament, in words of Ramón Mª Moreno, Director General of Casa Asia. “They are necessary actions because despite of the weight of the EU citizens do not give Europe the importance it requires”, he added.

For the State Secretary for the European Union, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, “it is necessary to reflect so that people can form an opinion of the travelled path, challenges of the future and benefits Europe has contributed to Spain and the protagonism Spain has had in the European Union”. For this, he has launched figures that prove that the relationship is satisfactory: “if per capita income in 1986 was 8 thousand Euros, today it is 20 thousand Euros. Europe's investments in funds has involved 146 million Euros and has made Spain be the first in number of motorways and the second with a network of high speed trains”.

García-Margallo summarised the challenges for Europe in the next years: loss of competitiveness, aging of population and weakness of institutional architecture. “Only strong states grouped in solid regional organisations are able to successfully survive the world we live in”, García-Margallo stood out. “The response Europeans have given globalisation is called European Union”, he concluded.

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