ADIF has tendered for four contracts and has been awarded another for the execution of improvement and modernization works in different points of the conventional gauge network in Catalonia, with a total investment of over 4.8 million euros. The actions will consist of the treatment of trenches in the Barcelona-Puigcerdà and Barcelona-Mora La Nova-Zaragoza lines, renovation of more than 4,400 sleepers in the Prat-Bellvitge section, and remodelling an embankment on the Barcelona-Manresa –Lleida line.
The main objective is to optimize the parameters of the railway infrastructure and ensure high standards of safety and effectiveness of railway operations, thus increasing quality and comfort for train circulation.
On the one hand, ADIF has tendered, for a value greater than 1.4 million euros, for the treatment works of six trenches located in the Barcelona-Puigcerdà line which will make it possible to minimize the chance of vegetation and other materials from coming loose and falling onto the tracks or overhead power cables that may affect circulation.
On the other hand, it has been awarded, for an amount close to 300,000 euros, the remodelling of a trench located on the route between the stations of Pradell and Riudecanyes-Botarell on the Barcelona-Mora La Nova-Zaragoza line. The work includes the installation of mesh, the execution of a breakwater to protect the slope and complementary actions.
Another of the contracts tendered for by ADIF, for more than 880,000 euros, consists of the renewal of 4,469 sleepers in this section, which records a large number of circulations. The new sleepers will be installed in the section between the Llobregat river and Bellvitge station. These operations will be completed with the renovation of other track elements to optimize the geometrical parameters of the railway facilities.
Finally, ADIF has tendered, for an amount in excess of 1.4 million euros, for the remodelling of an embankment located between the towns of Tarrega and Granyanella in the province of Lleida. The operations will make it possible to consolidate the railway infrastructure along this route, further improving the track geometry, which will enable the elimination of currently deployed time restriction, ensuring higher levels of safety for railwaytraffic and reducing travel times.
Source: elvigia.com; 2014-09-01
Posted by flytobarcelona.org
Barcelona Air Route Development Committee
promotes Barcelona Airport intercontinental flights
Singapore represents a great opportunity for Spanish food products. The country's small size and lack of natural resources mean that there is a high demand from abroad, where close to 90 % of food products come from overseas. Spanish products in Singapore grew by 6.6 % in 2013.
Singapore Consumers have high purchasing power and are demanding as regards quality products according to the Spanish Foreign Trade and Investment organisation, ICEX. The origin and brand of products are of great importance in Singapore, with the “gourmet" products sector being one of the sectors showing the highest growth and expansion in recent years.
Spanish food products in Singapore exceeded 38 million euros in 2013, 6.6% more than in 2012. Meats exported with a volume of nine million euros, fish and seafood with 8.1 million and oil olive with 4.2 million were the most popular products on the market. In addition, Singapore is a market of interest for Spain because it has a great influence in Southeast Asia and China, as it redistributes nearly 50% of its imports to these areas.
ICEX Spain Trade and Investment is organizing a Spanish pavilion at the 19th edition of Food & Hotel Singapore, one of the main showcases for the food industry across Asia since 1978. Last year it welcomed more than 42,000 visitors from 101 countries, and had 61 national pavilions. In this edition, tasting of wines from the Spanish wineries present at the event will be carried out and an area will be available for food tasting or product presentations. Participation in this fair is a great opportunity for Spanish exporters to explore Asian markets.
The fashion brand Desigual meets its objectives and continues its international expansion into new markets. The firm has just launched a new store in Miami, in the United States. The textile chain wants to develop its brand in South America as it is in the process of boosting this market. It is in Brazil where it is piloting its expansion alongside Horacio Broggi.
The new establishment in Miami offers the new collections for men, women, footwear and children and is located in Aventura Mall.
In recent months, Desigual has acquired a greater presence in the U.S a booming market in which its founder Thomas Meyer has chosen nine outlets in cities such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Paramus (New Jersey), San Francisco and Santa Monica as well as three other stores in New York, located in Soho, Herald Square and Fifth Avenue.
The opening of the store Miami is a sign of support to the Latin American market. With a local partner, the group opened its first store in Uruguay two months’ ago. It already has a distribution network made up of fourteen establishments in Latin America, in countries such as Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Puerto Rico.
The chain has announced the opening of up to fifty more points of sale by 2016 “Latin America is a very large market, we are talking about 21 countries. For this reason, we have divided the region into three areas: Brazil, Mexico, and other countries, where we are committed to local partners”, pointed out Broggi. According to the manager, the decision to choose local partners serves to “avoid the entry barriers” that exist in Latin America.
Desigual closed 2013 with 405 single brand stores 89 of which were opened during the past year. Its turnover was 828 million euros, representing an increase of 18% over 2012 and nearly triples that of five years ago.
The Ministry emphasizes that growth compared to last year, when Easter fell in March, so this year’s figures do not yet include visitors from this holiday season.
Specifically, in March 1,004,685 people came to Catalonia a 4.9% increase over March last year which included Easter. In Spain, the number of visitors in the first quarter was 10.1 million, 7.2% more. Catalonia remains in second place as the autonomic region with the greatest number of foreign tourist, behind the Canary Islands, which with 3,121,215 people absorbed 31 % of all visitors from around the world who traveled to the Spanish state during the first quarter of the year.
25.3%, one in four, foreign tourist coming to Spain passed through Catalonia during the first three months of the year.
The main source countries of tourists who came to Catalonia where the Germans and countries in the Asian region. This value shows the emerging importance of long-haul tourism in Catalonia and the emergence of Asian markets as generators of tourism.
Most of this tourism comes to Catalonia by plane.
The 3 Million Plan announced in 2012 by Anfac, the employers’ association of automobile manufacturers in Spain, expects to reach this figure of vehicle production in the plants in the country by 2017.
Should the goal be achieved, Spain will return to the Top Ten global producers of vehicles that it came out of in 2012 to fall to twelfth place.
Although going back into the top ten could come ahead of time in this year or even reach ninth place. Due to its own strengths, and the defects of others.
Regarding the former, we find the statistics. Such as, for example, that in the last 12 months, there were increases in production in all but January. Many of these amounted to two digit figures, in such a way that in the first half close to 1.3 million units were assembled. This represents a 12% increase and is above the full-year forecasts, predicted at 2.4 million.
Among the defects of others, it must be taken into account the bad time which countries that are now above are passing. One of these, Thailand, has just ruled itself out of the race this year by announcing plans to produce 2.2 million vehicles. That is, 10.2% down on the 2.46 million units which it served in 2013 to move from tenth to ninth place, at the expense of Canada. Even this country is within reach because until June and according to the consultancy WardsAuto, its factories had assembled 1.18 million vehicles of all types, with a drop of 1.8%.
It seems easier to overtake Russia (11th in 2013). Firstly, because last year we were separated by a mere 12,000 units. Secondly, because car sales there are still weaker than in 2013 and could even drop by up to 12%. This figure is crucial because their case is the opposite of the Spanish, with factories that are very dependent on a domestic market that absorbs three out of four cars assembled.
If Spain overtakes these three countries (Mexico, eighth, is untouchable due to the amount of new production that it is receiving), and would return to its place before 2011. Before, between 2004 and 2006 it had become the seventh world power. Its fall from the Top Ten in 2012 followed a drop in production of 17% to 1.97 million vehicles, the worst figure since 1993.
The climb would put the cherry on the cake of a financial year that, in any event, is especially brilliant. Because parent companies, such as Nissan, Opel, Ford, VW or Mercedes-Benz, continue to entrust projects to Spanish factories and have added new models to their assembly lines in 2014.
The result of this is the creation, in the first quarter alone, of more than 6,000 jobs (84% of them, of indefinite duration). Jobs that recover in part some of the jobs lost in the crisis at a pace, certainly, much lower than in industry as a whole. Between 2008 and 2013 the latter destroyed 28% employment, compared to only 8% in car factories.
Likewise, its export potential makes this activity one of the commercial pillars. Between January and June, the sector, now including manufacturers of motorcycles and related industry, recorded a positive trade balance of 2,193 million, 48.9% less than a year earlier, but still a figure to be very much taken into account when in the economy as a whole the deficit doubled to 11.882 million.
And if one considers strictly the manufacturers grouped in Anfac, the goal is to end the year with a trade surplus of about 16,000 million, ten times more than it had before the crisis.
It is also fair to acknowledge that these records have been made possible thanks to support from the Government, which has deployed nearly a dozen aid plans to revitalise the market. Although not putting them into practice would have been tremendously short-sighted: the last Pive 6 alone, endowed with 175 million euros of public funds, is estimated to have a dynamic effect on the economy of 2.000 million euros.
The garments of impeccable design and attention to detail by the Spanish children's fashion firm arrive in Riyadh.
After the openings in the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Shenzhen, followed by Moscow, Lima, the Mexican City of Villahermosa and Amsterdam, Pili Carrera has arrived in Saudi Arabia. The company, which came to Kuwait in 2013 with the opening of its store in the luxurious Avenues Mall, is now expanding its presence in the region with a new boutique in Riyadh. With a floor area of 100m2, it is located in the Panorama Mall and reproduces the decoration based on neutral tones and sober and simple lines that identifies the firm’s premises.
From Pili Carrera sources explain that, in 2014, the company’s expansion plans are focused on strengthening its presence in the United States and Asia.
The firm, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013, produces collections for new-borns, babies, girls, boys, child care and furniture in modern facilities of 20,000m2 located in the town of Mos in Pontevedra, Galicia. Today, Pili Carrera, the leading firm to wear on special occasions for the little princesses of the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Spain, has established a sales network of over fifty shops in the main shopping streets of countries like Spain, China, the United States, Kuwait, Morocco, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Russia and Switzerland.
Source: fashionfromspain.com; 2014-09-02
Posted by flytobarcelona.org
Barcelona Air Route Development Committee
promotes Barcelona Airport intercontinental flights
The online software guide Softonic has expanded its headquarters in Barcelona by 2,000 square metres and expects to end the year with 120 new employees worldwide, reported the international benchmark company in its sector to Europa Press on Thursday.
The Barcelona facility (where the company was founded in 1997 by Tomás Diago) is now after enlargement over 8,000 square metres, and has incorporated décor inspired by spaces and iconic characters of the city.
Source: eleconomista.es; 2014-09-01
CaixaBank has agreed with Barclays Bank PLC the acquisition of Barclays Bank SAU, which manages the business of retail banking, wealth management and corporate banking in the British entity in Spain, for 800 million euros. The Catalan company expects gross synergies of 150 million and restructuring costs of 300 million.
The Chairman of CaixaBank, Isidro Faine, and CEO Gonzalo Gortázar.
Caixabank explained that the final transaction price will be adjusted based on the net assets of Barclays Bank at year end. He also assured that the transaction will have a positive impact on earnings per share from the first year.
The execution of the purchase agreement is scheduled for December 2014 or January 2015 and is subject to obtaining the authorisations from relevant agencies and regulators.
The agreement excludes the business of investment banking and Barclaycard, explains the press release, adding that Barclays Bank PLC will continue to operate these businesses in Spain.
With this operation, CaixaBank, chaired by Isidro Faine, reinforces its leadership in Spain, incorporating approximately 550,000 new customers, primarily in retail banking and private and personal banking, and a network of 270 branches and nearly 2,400 employees.
Barclays Bank SAU has assets of 21,600 million euros. In June 2014, it had 18,400 million euros in net loans, 9,900 million euros in customer deposits and 4,900 million in assets under management.
"The bank recorded NPL ratio lower than the industry average and a high level of solvency, demonstrating the high quality of its assets and the good management carried out," says the press release.
The Spanish jewellery and fashion accessories firm, which aims to close 2014 with more than 500 stores, will also expand the scope of its online sales platform.
Tous has its main markets along the LATAM axis, which includes Central America, the Caribbean, South America and North America as well as Europe. In 2014, the brand’s strategic plan focuses on consolidating its presence in countries such as Portugal and Mexico, as well as in other more recently introduced, such as Poland and Russia. For 2015 they are very optimistic about their entry into new markets.
Yet Tous not only aims to expand its network of physical stores. For 2014, the estimated evolution of their online store is 80%. It currently operates in Spain, the UK, Germany, the USA and Portugal, but in the coming months it will expand its scope to include new markets such as Poland, Japan, Mexico and Russia.