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Palabras de Su Alteza Real el Príncipe de Asturias en la apertura del Seminario Económico "Spain-Florida 500 Years Business Conference"

Miami. Florida (EE.UU.), 19.11.2013

I​ am happy that we are here today, holding this Business Conference, precisely the year when we celebrate 500 years of Spanish presence in the State of Florida. A commemoration that will be soon followed by 450th anniversary of the founding of St Augustine, the first permanent city founded in the United States.

While Spaniards settled in Florida five centuries ago, nowadays, more than 350 Spanish businesses are established in this land, creating employment and wealth, contributing to strengthen common historical, cultural and economic ties.

Both the Spanish government and our businesses are engaged and deeply committed to strengthen our ties with Florida and the rest of the United States. As an example of this, let me point out that Spain became, between 2008 and 2010, the 10th largest foreign investor in the United States, thus becoming the 3rd top destination of our investments, after Great Britain and Brazil.

Our investment stock in Florida is more than 6.5 billion USD. We are the first country in quantity of businesses established here. Well established companies that are increasing their activities in infrastructures, energy, the financial system, services and the rest of economic sectors.

This Business Conference, I have the honour of opening with all of you this morning, is an example of the Spanish engagement with Florida at all levels, including the economic and trade relations. Even so, we believe there are still opportunities for a great deal of collaboration between Floridian and Spanish companies.

Spain can be an important playing field for Florida’s businesses as well. The United States on the whole has a long tradition of investing in Spain, being the first foreign investor in our country. Within this framework, the future Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the European Union and the United States will surely bring an added value into those already strong commercial links that unite our two countries.

En la actualidad son cada vez más numerosas las pequeñas y medianas empresas que, demostrando un gran espíritu emprendedor y una gran capacidad de superación, por primera vez, exportan o se establecen fuera de nuestras fronteras. Con ello no sólo mejoran las principales magnitudes de nuestra economía, sino que también se fortalece extraordinariamente nuestro tejido empresarial, haciéndose más sólido, más diversificado, más abierto al mundo. Merecen por ello todo nuestro reconocimiento y confiamos en que, una vez superada la crisis, la internacionalización de sus actividades forma parte permanente de su cultura empresarial.

Yet, there is wide margin for growth. Spanish economy is recovering, major imbalances are being corrected, competitiveness is improving, and foreign investment is increasingly growing. In fact, it has doubled in the period between January and August of this year, reaching nearly 20 billion USD, compared to last year’s figures for the same period.

While we still have to confront serious difficulties ‒with special emphasis on the high unemployment rate of our economy, particularly severe in the case of our youth. But the outlook is positive: Spain has technically exited recession in the 3rd quarter of this year and hopes to maintain this trend across 2014.

En este sentido, creo que es importante destacar, como un hecho muy relevante y positivo para nuestro presente pero sobre todo para nuestro futuro, en un contexto como el que nos encontramos, la progresiva internacionalización de la empresa española. Con anterioridad a la crisis sólo las grandes empresas españolas, nuestras grandes multinacionales, estaban presentes de forma regular y continúa en el mercado exterior. Con gran éxito, por cierto.

En la actualidad son cada vez más numerosas las pequeñas y medianas empresas que, demostrando un gran espíritu emprendedor y una gran capacidad de superación, por primera vez, exportan o se establecen fuera de nuestras fronteras. Con ello no sólo mejoran las principales magnitudes de nuestra economía, sino que también se fortalece extraordinariamente nuestro tejido empresarial, haciéndose más sólido, más diversificado, más abierto al mundo. Merecen por ello todo nuestro reconocimiento y confiamos en que, una vez superada la crisis, la internacionalización de sus actividades forma parte permanente de su cultura empresarial.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Miami is a good example of how, with determination and reforms, economy can blossom after years of stagnation, thus insufflating fresh optimism for citizens.

At the same time, the south of Florida perceives with confidence the economic progress of Latin America and the Caribbean, where there are also wonderful possibilities for collaboration between Spanish and United States companies.

I would not want to conclude without making reference to the increasing Hispanic presence and influence in Florida, as well as in the rest of the United States. This Hispanic hallmark provides the United States with strength, richness and international projection. We welcome this presence, no only for the benefit it grants to this great nation, but moreover for the added value given to our common ties and friendship.

Thank you.

Itzuli Hitzaldiak atalera
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Bidaia ofizialak

Viaje Oficial a California y Florida
Sus Altezas Reales los Príncipes de Asturias con un grupo de alumnos de la Escuela K8 Coral Way de MiamiCalifornia y Florida (EE.UU.), 13.11.2013/19.11.2013