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Address by His Royal Highness the Prince of Asturias at the Luncheon with japanese businessmen

Tokyo, March 24th, 24.03.1998

I

Shall start-off by saying that, it is a great pleasure for me to meet you and to have an  opportunity to address such a distinguished audience.

I greet you as a group of Japanese businessmen who have  special links with Spain in several sectors amongst which  are those of the car industry, electronics, banking and insurance. In all of these, I know for a fact that excellent technological,  financial and personal connections have been established.

So allow me to take this opportunity to convey to  you our satisfaction about your choice and say I am confident  that this experience will continue and will be expanded in the  future.

I sincerely believe that Spain has a great deal to  offer Japanese businessmen.   It is well classified  in the top group of countries that will form the European Monetary Union, having been able to control its inflation and make it  compatible with one of the greatest rates of growth on the European continent, amounting to 3.7% of gap last year.

The results that we have achieved for our economy as a  whole in recent years, and which include a number of improvements in the areas of taxation and employment in  pursuit of greater productivity, define us allround as an attractive destination for international capital investment, and therefore undoubtedly  also for Japanese investors aswell.

I shall not enumerate the advantages of a situation with  which you are already familiar. It suffices to recall, for instance, that within a few months, the euro will replace many  European currencies, including the Spanish peseta, bringing  stability to exchanges and facilitating transactions. The modernisation of the Spanish economy is naturally  also manifested in its projection abroad.  The dealings of Spanish  businessmen in Europe, Latin America and the Maghreb show great dynamism. Their experience in these markets  demonstrates that they are reliable partners, with whom  globally oriented cooperation can be undertaken  very much  in line with what the 21st century holds in store-for us.

As you know, my visit to Japan precisely responds  to the interest of the Spanish Government and Administration  in promoting and strengthening the excellent relations that  already exist between our two countries, both in the  political and in the economic and cultural spheres.

Let me tell you that Spanish businessmen fully share this goal, as shown by  the fact that the number of those who have participated in the "Spain in Japan Month", about to conclude, is the  largest ever reached in a country that is not a member of the  European Union.

During my visit I have inaugurated "Expoconsumo" and the Spain-Japan Seminar. I am sure that both  of them will contribute decisively to greater mutual knowledge  and an expansion of our exchanges, which in turn we hope will afford  us both many lasting benefits.

You also have a great deal to offer-us.   Indeed, you have  taken an active part in the development and updating of  Spanish industry in the areas in which you have shown a  preferential interest.

Furthermore, you have generously offered us the example of  your tenacity, your passion for a job well done and your  philosophy for life and business, which have brought to you so  many well deserved successes.

So I am confident that in the wake of this meeting, very pleasant for so many reasons, both Japanese and  Spaniards will be able to take advantage of this historic  juncture, under the conviction that strengthening our  economic ties is not only a common challenge, but also and above all a guarantee of prosperity for the future that our  countries deserve to share.

Thank you very much.

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