Spain keen on improving economic ties with PH | Inquirer Business

Spain keen on improving economic ties with PH

/ 02:08 AM November 14, 2022

Spain is looking to further strengthen business ties with the Philippines, with more than 20 firms from the European country joining the delegation that is exploring business opportunities in the Southeast Asian nation.

María Peña, the chief executive officer of ICEX—a publicly owned business-oriented entity under Spain’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism (Mincotur)—said last week that both sides were considering several sectors as areas of possible cooperation.

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“We had these roundtable discussions to obtain information about the Spanish capabilities and also about the potential, the business opportunities here in the Philippines,” she said, adding that they are also looking for ways to further cooperation with development banks, such as the Asian Development Bank.

Infrastructure

Representatives of 24 Spanish companies, mainly in infrastructure and technology, arrived in the Philippines last week, each of those having as many as 16 meetings with various companies to look at areas where they can work together.

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“All of that is to look for new ways of cooperation [between] Spanish companies and Filipino companies,” she said.

These Spanish firms include water firm Acciona Agua, leading European construction company Acciona Construcción, and energy-oriented business Acciona Energia. Acciona is deemed a leader in the infrastructure and renewable energy sectors. One of the group’s most notable projects here is the construction of the 8.5-kilometer Cebu-Cordova Link Highway that connects mainland Cebu to Mactan island. The other firms include Almar Water Servicios España; Alsina Formwork Southeast Asia Corp., Arquimea Group; Centunion, Construcciones Y Auxiliar De Ferrocarriles; Constructora San Jose, Elecnor; Globaltec Desarrollos E Ingenieria; Hidria Ciencia Ambiente Y Desarrollo; Idom Consulting, Engineering, Architecture Sau; Ignis Desarrollo; Indra Soluciones Tecnologías De La Informacion; Ingenieria Y Economia Del Transporte Sme MP; Internacional De Tecnologia Asistencia Y Consultoria Sociedad Limitada; Makiber, Metropolitano De Tenerife Sa Patentes Talgo; and Seta PH Technology.

Peña said that that both sides were looking at infrastructure projects, particularly the Philippines’ railway system, as well as possible investments in clean energy and water treatment.

Priority area

Sought for comment on how the Philippines ranks on Spain’s priority list in Asia, Peña said that it places high on its roster.

“I would say that the Philippines is one of our priorities,” said the Spanish official.

Spain and the Philippines just celebrated the 75th anniversary of their formal diplomatic relations although their shared history goes back centuries earlier with the arrival of Spanish ships under Ferdinand Magellan.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, Spain was the Philippines’ top supplier of agricultural commodities in 2021, with an import value of $333.49 million or a share of 20.6 percent to the total agricultural imports from European Union member countries. INQ

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TAGS: Business, Economic, Spain
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