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Palabras de Su Majestad el Rey en la reunión de trabajo con empresarios

Washington D.C., 16.09.2015

Good morning everyone, allow me first to welcome you to this business breakfast at our ambassador’s residence. Thank you for coming. It’s indeed a great pleasure to have you here and to share with you a few introductory remarks. As you see I’ll be doing this in a somewhat formal way so the press can capture a few sound bites of what this meeting is about, and a quick overview of some aspects of the economic or business context of our bilateral relations. I believe the idea, thereafter, is to continue our dialogue in a more informal format.

It is by no means a coincidence that this is one of the first events during my first official visit to the United States of America as the King of Spain, accompanied by the Queen. We have visited Mount Vernon and paid homage to the First President of the United States; we have met with President Obama and the First Lady, with whom we exchanged views on many aspects of our bilateral relations and current international affairs; and we have also been welcomed at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where we talked mostly about our world’s most pressing challenges.

And now we are meeting you, a distinguished group of executives from US companies that have operations or projects in Spain in many different economic sectors, to exchange our ideas and opinions. Because we all strongly believe that strengthening our economic and business relations is essential to bring our countries and people closer, and promote greater progress and wellbeing for our societies and for our citizens. And in this shared goal, you are key agents and actors, and we are all counting on you. For this reason, what I would like to tell you today is very simple, very clear: you can rely on Spain, have confidence in Spain, confidence in a nation that is roaring back, that is modern, solid, full of creativity and drive to overcome the difficulties and challenges ahead, and wide open to the world.

Spain offers great strengths and security in a great many fields. In this sense, Spain, as we all know, has seen extraordinary growth in the past few decades, making our country a world leader in many industries, from infrastructure and renewable energy to medicine, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, also automobile industry, fashion, tourism and culture, financial services or software and communications.

In many of these areas, Spain and the United States have long been allies and strategic partners. Over the years, long-term private investment has deepened the fruitful relationship between our countries. Bilateral trade and investment flows have been very dynamic, and the US is now Spain’s number-one trade partner outside the European Union. The US is, also, the main foreign investor in Spain US investment helped promote our economy, raise our productivity and expand our export capacity in such sectors as automobiles, chemicals, and retail distribution. More recently, Spanish companies have invested heavily in the US in a wide range of industries, intensifying the already substantial economic ties between both countries.

It is true that in the past few years, Spain has undergone a time of economic turmoil. On the other hand, your economy has recently recovered from a systemic crisis —and you have once again become the prime mover of the global economy. The Spanish economic recovery has gathered steam, and the outlook for 2015 and 2016 is promising. Spain’s GDP is growing and its unemployment rate continues to fall steadily.

Our main challenges today are, of course, still to cut down unemployment and to offer long-lasting opportunities to those who have suffered the recession, especially our young people. In order to succeed, we need faster productivity growth, improved education and skills training, and a competitive environment allowing firms to grow. In this endeavor, the importance of foreign investment is paramount.

the economic relations between our two countries still offer so much untapped potential. Now is a good time to consider investing in Spain, or expanding your operations if you are already there

Today in Spain, we have more than 12,000 foreign companies, generating 1.2 million jobs. And we know that international investment flows —both inward and outward—contribute to spreading technology and boosting productivity and employment, both at home and abroad.

US investors were among the first to seize on the progress made by Spain and the opportunities that lie ahead. Several of the companies represented here today have been in Spain for years, and are well aware of our underlying strengths.

Conversely, our corporations have invested strongly in foreign markets for the past two decades, reaping great international success, first in Latin America, and more recently, in the United States.

Spain’s infrastructures are among the best in the world, and have been continually modernized over the last fifteen years. Our network of ports, airports, railways and highways is extensive, and in excellent condition. Our human capital is of the highest quality. Our health system combines a universal public provision service with private insurers and providers. Over the past few years, we have been innovating in traditional sectors and also in cutting-edge, technology-intensive sectors such as clean energies, bio-tech, health and smart cities, becoming world leaders in these industries.

However, the economic relations between our two countries still offer so much untapped potential. Now is a good time to consider investing in Spain, or expanding your operations if you are already there.

In this sense, I’m sure that we are well aware that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) becomes an opportunity to remove barriers to trade and investment, and to foster new business opportunities and job creation. The benefits will be especially substantial in such sectors as the automotive industry, medical devices, and public procurement. The private sector’s involvement will be essential to ensure that the current process will bring positive results for both sides.

Finally, I strongly believe that there is still room to deepen our longstanding partnership with the US private sector within the broader framework of US-Spain relations. Our countries are the two largest investors in Latin America. And we have a strong interest in favoring stability, growth and a good business climate in this region. Additionally, there are many US and Spanish companies venturing into Africa to explore new investment opportunities. There is therefore scope for more joint ventures, increased dialogue and closer cooperation to help Africa thrive, through private sector investment in areas including energy, transport, communications and water.

Once again, I would like to express my gratitude to all of you here today and to encourage you to consider Spain as a preferential investment destination.

Thank you very much.

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Viatges Oficials

Viaje Oficial a los Estados Unidos de América
Sus Majestades los Reyes con el presidente Barack Obama y su esposa Michelle15.9.2015/18.9.2015