The Board has already fulfilled two of the important objectives that were set in 2016 when the IV Internationalization Plan that ends this year came into force. “We have achieved that 6,174 companies in Castilla y León export outside the country,” admitted yesterday the Minister of Economy and Finance, Carlos Fernández Carriedo. The other challenge, territorial and sectoral diversification: “From a geographical point of view, 27% of exports are produced outside the European Union and international commercialization has increased in the agri-food, equipment and pharmaceutical chemical sectors.” The Board looks towards the “immediate future” with caution. “We have the Brexit challenge and for this we must propose contingency actions throughout 2020,” he explained.
Carriedo, together with the Minister of Employment and Industry, Germán Barrios, participated yesterday in a meeting of the Internationalization Council in which a balance sheet of the plan that ends this year was made and in which the beginning of which will come into force from 2021. The Board will have three objectives in focus. The first, to face the consequences of Brexit when “at the end of the current year the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union is already completed from an economic point of view,” Carriedo admitted. The second challenge, «work for the position that Castilla y León will have» during the «world tariff war». The third and last, “continue to increase the number of exporting companies promoting territorial and sectoral diversification,” he said. The meeting was also attended by the delegate in Castilla y León of the Institute of Foreign Trade (ICEX), Isabel Clavero; the general secretary of the Regional Council of Chambers of Castilla y León, Víctor García; and the general secretary of the Confederation of Business Organizations of Castilla y León (Cecale), David Esteban.
Carriedo stressed the diversifying work of the Board. In the geographical area, “although the most important realization is still around the European Union”, with France and Belgium at the helm, the exports of companies in Castilla y León are dispersed over more continents. “We came from 10% outside these borders and now we reach 27%,” Carriedo said. Of this percentage, since 2016, ten percent of marketing is concentrated in Africa, where emerging markets such as Morocco and Algeria stand out. It is followed by Asia, with 6%. Behind, the American countries with average quotas of 4 in Latin America and the Caribbean and 2.5 in North America.
Boosting the agri-food sector
The data produced by sector diversification is also positive. “Despite being a still very relevant sector, the car has lost weight,” Carriedo said yesterday. Its exports “have gone from 60% to 55%.” The greatest impulse of the Community has been experienced by the agri-food sector, which has become the second most exporter with a new sales record in 2018 exceeding 2,000 million euros. They represent 13% of total exports in Castilla y León. It has also increased its presence outside Spain “the sector of capital goods”, with 10% of the total, and the “pharmaceutical chemist”, which has reached a share of regional export participation of 7%, said the director of Economy and Finance, Fernández Carriedo.
More than 40 markets
The current Internationalization Plan, which will be terminated at the end of this year, has driven more than 390 actions in 41 different markets with 3,014 business shares. In terms of attracting investments, it has managed 1,050 projects, which has allowed 568 to be active today.
The Board of Castile and Leon, since 2016 that the plan entered into force, has coordinated 200 offers and demands for international cooperation and search for partners abroad from companies in the Community. The regional government has also facilitated the international expansion of SMEs, with aid worth 8.4 million euros that have driven 837 projects so far. .