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Palabras de Su Alteza Real el Príncipe de Asturias en la inauguración de la III edición del "Spain Investors Day"

Madrid, 15.01.2013

G

ood morning ladies and gentlemen,

 

It is a real pleasure for me to be with you here today. It is also an honour to share with you some remarks in order to open these sessions of Spain Investors Day in its third edition, an event which has become a major venue for fostering meetings between the world's foremost investors and our country's leading corporations. As well as congratulating the organisers and promoters of this initiative, I would also like to warmly welcome all of the participants.

I strongly wish that over the next couple of days all of you attending this event will be enthused by a positive and promising outlook of our country’s future economic and financial prospects. Nobody, here in the country nor out in the global market, can ignore the hardships and difficulties that the Spanish economy has undergone in the last few years, and the tough conditions that still so many people –so many families- are suffering. Companies have also suffered the darn consequences of this crisis. Most of you here come from large corporations, but think of what has happened to so many small & medium sized ones...not a pretty story.

But I won’t drag you through this any further, because we’ve heard it, seen it, suffered it and complained about it for far too long. We all know that it is not over yet, but change is indeed happening and reforms are effectively being put into place: our financial system is doing an enormous effort to move onto the right tracks, government at all levels and the public sector is indeed downsizing and squeezing their ability to be more efficient…and so on.

As a whole, allow me to say, we are substantially addressing the problems, the needs for transformation in our economy. It is, of course, a huge task; a delicate one too; one that needs the participation of all our society and institutions, both public and private. There is much to be done. But the future is within our hands if we put our minds and our hearts, our talent and our will, to do a better job, to regain self confidence, to reach out and regain also the support and confidence of so many eager investors that know very well what the real Spain is about, what we are able to achieve and how we have demonstrated success in our recent history.

The goal of the meetings and presentations which will be held here today and tomorrow is to put a spotlight on the opportunities that Spain currently offers, at the highest level, as an attractive investment destination.

In spite of global uncertainty, international investment flows have recovered, even topping pre-crisis levels, showing that globalisation is a phenomenon that continues to grow, and to open up opportunities in each of our economies for an improved use of resources.

In this sense, I imagine we all concur that global investment allows companies to internationalise in a more lasting and sustainable way by maximising their returns and their economic efficiency. Clearly it favours the development of new markets, while generating qualified jobs and promoting the transfer of knowledge incorporated into the production structure. For all of these reasons, investment is a vehicle that enables sustained growth and improved competitiveness.

Our economy faces complicated times, but which also open up major investment opportunities. The significant effort that is being made will enable us to correct the imbalances accumulated during previous growth cycles. In this context, the competitiveness of our production structure is growing, helping to lay the foundations for recovery in economic growth and job creation. This rising competitiveness and the diversification of our exports are behind our positive trade balance, contributing to correct the external current account deficit.

Spain has strengths that make it a priority investment destination, especially in these times, when we begin to see prospects of improvement.

For all of these reasons, we believe that now is the best time to take advantage of the investment opportunities that are opening up in a country which has been able to successfully recover from previous crises, and which is taking measures to get back on to the path of growth and stable job creation in sectors offering the highest potential

The Spanish market is one-quarter of the entire Euro Zone, with 47 million consumers, receiving more than 57 million tourists annually, and which has access to nearly 1.3 billion consumers due to its prime geographic location and special historical and cultural ties with so many countries around the globe.

The heavy investments made in recent decades have enabled us to develop world-class infrastructures. Our motorway system and high-speed train network are the most extensive in Europe, and we also have a major network of ports and airports, which receive more than 200 million passengers a year.

Our telecommunications are first-rate, and also continue to expand, with a mobile phone penetration now topping 120 lines per 100 inhabitants, and with a growth in mobile broad-band subscriptions that places Spain at the top of the rankings, both in mobile internet quality and in access capacity.

Spain is home to global leaders in these areas, and many of them are participating in this event. Seven of the world's top ten infrastructure companies are Spanish. In the energy sector, we have companies that are leading operators in Latin America, and leaders in the renewable energy sector on a worldwide scale. Spain's air navigation systems are used in three out of every five flights on the planet. A Spanish enterprise is the number-one international fashion retailer. Two of the world's top banks are from Spain, and two companies from our country are among the leading insurers in their respective markets.

One of the reasons for these enterprises' success abroad is the high quality of their human capital. Spain ranks high in human resources with higher education in the scientific and technical fields.

But we should not forget that around 80% of Spain’s private business sector is composed of small & medium sized enterprises. Many of these also offer a new, interesting and attractive focal point for innovative investment. It is important to note that we are seeing a new generation of young entrepreneurs, full of ideas, talent and courage that need our support –your support- to have a proper chance to prosper, to bring people back into having a proper job and to contribute to the general recovery.

In fact, investor confidence in Spain's economy, despite our recent difficulties, explains why it ranks 9th worldwide in foreign investment stock, with an annual average of more than 29.22 billion Euros in the past five years. More than 12,800 foreign enterprises are established in our country, including the top multinationals.

For all of these reasons, we believe that now is the best time to take advantage of the investment opportunities that are opening up in a country which has been able to successfully recover from previous crises, and which is taking measures to get back on to the path of growth and stable job creation in sectors offering the highest potential.

I would like to end these remarks by conveying my best wishes to all of the participants, once again congratulating the promoters of this event.

I hereby declare open the 3rd edition of Spain Investors Day.

Thank you very much.

 

 

 

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