A Confederation of Employers and Industries of Spain (CEOE) delegation, headed by the director general of CEOE’s International Department, Narciso Casado, travels with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, on his official trip to India
Within the framework of the official trip by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, to India, an institutional delegation travels with him to assess the business potential of the country.
The group of businessmen was headed by the head of CEOE’s International Department, Narciso Casado, and the head of Spain’s Chamber of Commerce, Inmaculada Riera. Casado pointed out that “in slightly less than a decade, India has become one of the countries with the greatest social, economic, and, most of all, business potential in the world.” “In fact, it is at the forefront in several rankings on market growth, foreign investment and establishment of foreign companies,” said Casado.
With a population of over 1.3 billion, India has become the second most populated country in the world, following China, although the forecasts suggest that in 2022 it will jump to the first position. This growth has already grabbed the attention of numerous Spanish companies, with currently more than 250 present in the country in sectors such as consulting, energy, engineering and construction, while in 2008 the number of Spanish companies established in India was set at only 60. This is due to the fact that, during the visit of the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to Spain, a Forum of CEOs was created in 2017 with the participation of some of the largest companies in Spain.
Narciso Casado stressed “the high degree of complementarity” between both economies, especially in eight sectors of particular interest to Spanish companies including infrastructure, railways, energy, food processing, machinery, water management, information technology and the pharmaceutical industry. In this regard, the head of CEOE’s International department praised the recent measures that have led to the liberalization of the Indian market and that “have favoured imports from abroad.” However, Casado also wanted to highlight that there are still “certain trade barriers: tariffs remain high by international standards and there are numerous restrictions on imports.”
During the visit, the head of CEOE’s International department also participated in Rasina’s Dialogue, a forum held on January 8, 9 and 10. This forum featured the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, along with the former Italian Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, and the Dutch MEP, Marietje Payne.
Borrell travels to India to boost the presence of Spanish companies
Borrell arrived in India on a trip with specific economic goals, since one of its main objectives is to boost the presence of Spanish companies in a country that is already the sixth economy in the world, growing at an annual rate of 7%. Thus, India has great potential, which comes across, for example, in its need for 40,000 train coaches to renew its railway network, an extensive hydroelectric, nuclear, solar and wind power network to provide electricity to the population, while it also aims to decarbonize its economy.
Furthermore, the Minister’s agenda includes specific projects, such as the contract to build 56 Airbus C-295 military transport aircrafts, of which 16 would be manufactured in Spain. Spanish companies are also waiting on tenders in the fields of air traffic and railway material, and there are opportunities in sectors related to water management and sanitation, tourism and educational services.
Other individuals travelling with Borrell and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ team within the Spanish delegation include the two heads of Trade and Investment and Foreign Affairs, María Paz Ramos and Cristina Serrano; the head of CEOE’s International department, Narciso Casado; and the head of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, Inmaculada Riera.