The Asian and Latin American continents are areas which are growing rapidly, in comparison to the current crisis which can be seen in developed economies.

On 22 March, Casa Asia and the INSEAD business school presented the study "Spain's role in the economic ties between Asia and Latin America. Large corporations, SMEs and Barcelona city as the liaising elements between the two areas", with the aim to create awareness on the potential of Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain as the link between these two continents.

The report, which includes collaboration from Barcelona City Council, Garrigues and the Pompeu Fabra University, states that Asia and Latin America are the areas with the most growth within the current crisis which is present in developed economies and analyses the role played by the cities, especially Barcelona, as bridges and centres for economic development and as possible headquarters for Asian and Latin American companies.

Sònia Recasens, Deputy Mayor for the Economy, Business and Employment of Barcelona City Council, highlighted that "our companies have the challenge and opportunity to establish and take advantage of all these synergies created with Latin America and Asia, especially with China". Recasens added that "we have to be capable of attracting investment and economic activity from strategic markets, such as China or India, towards Barcelona, in order to obtain good positioning within Latin America".


Eleven success stories, half of which are linked to the Catalonian capital

The study also reflects on the degree to which Spain has acted as a bridge between Asia and Latin America, and includes the experiences of several Spanish companies, half of which are linked to the Catalonian capital, and are currently trading on both continents.

The analysed companies are: FarmaegaraFicosa InternacionalMiguel Torres S.A.Port de BarcelonaSingapore Arilines (these five are linked to  Barcelona), Alfa HogarBBVARepsol YPFCemexGarrigues and Telefónica. These are companies of different sizes and from different sectors, but all of them perform a liaison function and may be an example to follow for other SMEs on their journey towards international expansion. 

According to the study, the main areas in which Spain has potential to play an essential role in relationships between Asia and Latin America are: tourism, cultural and educational exchanges, renewable energy, infrastructures and construction.


Barcelona stands out thanks to its geographic location and its infrastructures

Within this context, Barcelona plays an important role as a logistics centre thanks to Port de Barcelona, which distributes an increasing volume of Asian products, and as a hub for the flights belonging to Singapore Arilines flying on towards Latin America. Also highlighting Catalonian companies that act as a commercial or production liaison, (FarmaegaraMiguel Torres S.A.) and can manage to involve sectors as strategic as is that of R&D (Ficosa Internacional).

Aside from its geographic location and infrastructure, the report underlines the promotion Barcelona carries out for industries based on innovation and knowledge, as well as the actions which are developed by the city council with a view to attract foreign investments.


Source: Barcelona City Council - Barcelona good news


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