The chairman of CEOE, Juan Rosell, the chairman of CEPYME, Antonio Garamendi, and the director of the CEOE Chairman’s Office, Narciso Casado, have attended the UK-Spain Business Forum

The chairman of CEOE, Juan Rosell, who was invited to the gala banquet hosted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in honour of the King and Queen of Spain in Buckingham Palace, participated in the UK-Spain Business Forum, chaired by His Majesty King Felipe VI at the Mansion House, within the framework of the state visit the monarchs are paying these days to London. In addition to Juan Rosell, the chairman of CEPYME, Antonio Garamendi, and the Director of the CEOE Chairman’s Office, Narciso Casado, were also present. During the business meeting, organised by the Secretariat of State for Trade, CEOE, and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, business leaders from both countries shared their experience in both markets and discussed the advantages and challenges they face abroad. 

The Spanish delegation consisted of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Mr Alfonso Dastis; the Secretary of State for Trade, Marisa Poncela; and representatives of major Spanish companies, such as Telefónica, Santander, Gestamp and Sage. The British team included the Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox, and the host of the meeting, the Lord Mayor of London, Andrew Parmley.

Closing event

His Majesty King Felipe VI closed the business forum by praising the vitality of the bilateral relations between Spain and the United Kingdom. In this regard, he emphasised that we have achieved a very significant economic and commercial integration with the British market. Proof of this is that many Spanish companies have invested in the country in key sectors in recent years, such as infrastructure, railway stations (high speed); innovation, energy (renewable energy, modern recycling plants); renewable energy; and smart cities, among others. His Majesty King Felipe VI said that both markets have been successful in their commitment to open markets.

Bilateral relations

In London, the chairman of CEOE stressed the importance of the official visit of the King and Queen of Spain to the United Kingdom, the first in 31 years, and recalled that Spanish investments in that country had grown spectacularly in recent years.

He noted that more than 700 British companies are investing in Spain, and more than 400 Spanish companies are domiciled in the United Kingdom, according to data from the United Kingdom Embassy in Madrid.

In this regard, he stated that business relations with the United Kingdom were an issue of great interest for CEOE and its provincial and sectoral organisations. As a result, he explained that, in recent years, “we have been working endlessly to achieve greater levels of cooperation between the two countries, thanks to the close collaboration between the CEOE and its British counterpart, the CBI”.

The president of CEOE noted that from an investor’s point of view, Spanish companies have placed the United Kingdom at the head of countries receiving direct investments from Spain, more than 82,000 million euros in 2015, due mainly to the robust investment policies conducted by Spanish companies in finance, telecommunications, energy, infrastructure concessions, or fashion, to mention just a few relevant examples.

In addition, he confirmed that this positive trend has continued, according to the data we have, throughout 2016 and in the first quarter of 2017, a period in which the United Kingdom received, once again, the greatest flow of gross direct investment, exceeding 9,450 million euros.

With regard to the United Kingdom, the president of CEOE said that it was the second largest investor in our country in 2015, after the United States, with a stock of direct investments of around 42,620 million euros, and it held fourth place regarding gross investment flows in 2016 and in the first quarter of 2017, totalling 2,135 million euros.

As far as the bilateral trade in goods is concerned, “this has experienced a considerable boost in recent years, particularly in relation to Spanish exports, exceeding a turnover of 30,300 million euros last year, which places the United Kingdom as our fourth largest customer (19,153 million euros) and seventh supplier (11,184 million euros) in the world,” said Rosell.

Source: CEOE

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