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Palabras de Su Majestad el Rey en la XI edición del Spain Investors Day

Palacio de La Zarzuela. Madrid, 13.01.2021

Quiero comenzar mi intervención saludando muy afectuosamente a todas las personas que, presencial o telemáticamente, hoy están con nosotros en estas circunstancias difíciles por causa de la pandemia y de las condiciones metereológicas que están afectando intensamente a gran parte de España y a esta querida ciudad de Madrid.

Ladies and Gentlemen, good morning. Warm greetings to all the participants of this Spain Investors Day, including naturally those connected on-line from other countries. As you know, we are enduring here an added challenge to the global pandemic; after a highly unusual heavy snowstorm and icy cold conditions hit us this past weekend. I am glad this event has kept its course, so congratulations to the organisers; and I am happy to welcome you all -unfortunately from a distance- to this 11th edition of the Spain Investors Day.

Me gustaría felicitar a los organizadores por celebrar y mantener hoy esta prestigiosa nueva edición del “Spain Investors Day”, particularmente en las difíciles circunstancias actuales, cuando los desplazamientos y la movilidad plantean serias complicaciones tanto por la pandemia como por la inusual e intensa tormenta de nieve y las inéditas heladas que han afectado a una gran parte del país. Probablemente, Madrid y su entorno estén entre las zonas más golpeadas y la vida cotidiana se ha convertido en un desafío, todo ello sin mencionar los daños materiales y los problemas sociales derivados de la tormenta.

Junto con la Reina Letizia quiero trasladar nuestra cercanía y apoyo a todos los que han sufrido pérdidas y se han visto seriamente afectados por el temporal, especialmente a las familias de los que han fallecido.

Además, deseamos agradecer y felicitar a los hombres y mujeres de nuestros servicios de emergencia nacionales, de comunidades autónomas y municipales, de Protección Civil; a nuestras Fuerzas Armadas; a los Cuerpos y Fuerzas de Seguridad de Estado; a los voluntarios y en general, a todos aquellos que han dedicado sus esfuerzos y solidaridad para garantizar las evacuaciones, la atención médica y los suministros durante estos últimos días. También a aquellos que continúan ayudando en las labores de limpieza y de restablecimiento de la actividad cotidiana. Confío en que pronto podamos recuperarnos plenamente de este nuevo desafío y estoy seguro de que las autoridades competentes están haciendo todo lo posible para lograrlo.

I know turn back the focus of today’s event. The Spain Investors Day continues to sail steady and firm consolidating its position and relevance as one of the key dates in Spain's business calendar. I am delighted to return for the 3rd time to this forum, in which I proudly Chair in its Honorary Committee.

In 2021, an event of this nature, intended to attract investment for the Spanish economy, for the full potential of our companies or new projects to flourish, is more necessary than ever. The Covid-19 pandemic has placed significant constraints on investors and companies all over the world, prompting an unprecedented contraction in economic activity, and therefore significantly undermining the profitability and the financial position of many firms.

Like other countries, Spain is suffering the severe consequences of the downturn triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, neither the virus nor the economic crisis are going to bring us down.
Even in the current circumstances, the highly developed Spanish business sector continues to act with great strength and dynamism. There is a large number of top-of-the-line Spanish companies established all over the world, and with international acclaim 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. Spanish companies have the necessary experience and capacity to become partners in all kinds of international projects throughout the world. As you well know, this is the case of Spanish companies present here today, world leaders in their sectors, that show case, perfectly well, Spain´s strong capabilities.

These and other Spanish Companies have original and patented technology, renowned brands, valuable experience and international distribution networks. However, let me add something especially important for the purpose of this forum: our companies are also accumulating cutting-edge technology, invaluable business expertise, outstanding talent, and the proper values that make them strong and reliable partners for the innovation and sustainability route that we all need to take for the coming years.

Furthermore, the Spanish market has numerous structural strengths that make it a very attractive destination for international investors. Not the least being that foreign companies find here an attractive domestic market with 47 million potential consumers.

"...hoy en este acto de inauguración, quiero concluir afirmando y subrayando que España es y seguirá siendo, sin duda, un destino preferente de inversión para todos vuestros proyectos..."

Moreover, Spain offers foreign investors a privileged access to third markets intensely connected to our economy and to the outreach of our corporations that may well be of particular interest. In fact, there is still huge potential here to serve as a platform for international business operations in third countries: Spain, as a member of the EU, offers entrepreneurs coming from non-EU countries the opportunity of an easy access to the worlds’ biggest free market area.

Furthermore, its geographical location allows access to markets in the Mediterranean region, northern Africa and Middle East; and, more importantly, of course, it’s very special business, economic, historic, linguistic ties with Latin America, also make the case for a highly suitable and attractive access to all of these countries.

This is possible, among other factors, because, companies established in Spain have guaranteed favourable access to all international markets and to all places of our national territory thanks to the modern network of infrastructures that is available. According to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report, Spain is the 7th country in the world with the best transport infrastructure at a global level.

This reality is the one foreign investors can expect to find in Spain. All these factors are structural strengths of our business climate. They were here before Covid-19 and they will still be here, once we overcome the challenges we are facing today.

Spain continues to be firmly committed to the idea that economic development -and hence the economic and social wellbeing of its citizens- largely depends on the country being open, active and dynamic at the international level. If we study in detail the profiles of businesses that go international, we can see that -generally speaking- they expand, create more jobs, increase their financial capacity and improve their access to capital markets. In short, they become more dynamic, more competitive, and more efficient. In a nutshell, more resilient. Certainly a big and pertinent word for these difficult times.

A firm that is more international and more competitive relates to two sides of the same coin, two clearly linked concepts. Internationalized firms are better equipped to face difficulties: they are more prone to innovate and are more capable to survive cycle fluctuations, as they can rely on a diversified market portfolio.

Now, if we take the case of Spain, and our economy’s international outreach, we cannot focus solely -despite its significance- on the importance of our companies opening up to foreign markets; we must also acknowledge the remarkable role played by foreign companies established on Spanish territory.

Spain is the 11th largest FDI recipient in the world. According to the latest data available from the Registry of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, more than 16,000 foreign companies operate in our country, representing almost 500 billion € of stock investment and more than 1.5 million people employed.

The FDI we receive not only contributes to finance the economy, but it also brings valuable things like diversification, knowledge and increased technological development to our national business community, particularly in sectors with greater added value. Foreign investment also has a strong impact by significantly increasing Spain’s export capacity, especially in sectors such as the automobile and chemical industries. According to National Statistics (INE), 43.7% of Spanish exports originate in subsidiaries of foreign companies.

These figures testify to the importance of foreign investment in our country.

Foreign companies established in Spain are also, therefore, great ambassadors of our country. For this reason, what I would like to convey you today is very simple, very clear: you can rely on Spain, have confidence in Spain, confidence in a modern and solid nation, full of creativity and open to the world.

Thank you again, for participating here today, and my gratitude as well to the awesome line-up of speakers that will take part during these two days of meetings.

For all I have expressed to you this morning I have no doubt that Spain holds a preferential investment destination for your projects.
Y por lo expuesto hoy en este acto de inauguración, quiero concluir afirmando y subrayando que España es y seguirá siendo, sin duda, un destino preferente de inversión para todos vuestros proyectos.
Muchas gracias. Thank you very much, and now, it is my great pleasure and honour to declare open the 11th edition of the Spain Investors Day.

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