One of the government vehicles for export the image of Spain and promote foreign investment in this country, Secretary of State for Global Spain, will probe the market in the coming months in search of capital to sustain the transformation plan ‘Spain Can’, announced by the president Pedro Sanchez last October 7.
“’Spain Can’ lands the General State Budgets and European funds for recovery, and points out that for every euro of public money invested four of private investment are mobilized. From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in very close collaboration with the economic office of the Presidency of the Government and with the Ministry of Commerce, we have launched an exercise to attract international investment to support this plan ”, argues the Secretary of State of Global Spain , Manuel Muniz, in an interview with Five days.
Secretary of State Manuel Muñiz intends to transmit the ecological and digital transition plans to some of the main investors in the world
The goal is to attract sovereign wealth funds, many of them with experience in the field in mobility, telecommunications or energy, towards the new possibilities that the country offers. The ecological transition and the digital development processes are the main claims.
Manuel Muñiz, has traveled this month to Arab Emirates, together with the Director General of Economic Diplomacy, Luis Oscar Moreno, to transmit the plans of the Executive. An official mission in which they have built bridges with representatives of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, as well as with the powerful fund Mubadala.
“It is about expanding the footprint of strategic partners in the Spanish economy”, explains the Secretary of State. This work will continue in destinations such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Norway or Singapore, on whose governments depend some of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world. Among them are Qatar Investment Authority, PIF, GIC or Norges, this last manager of state pension funds.
In the case of the United Arab Emirates, its investment in Spain reached 6,000 million in 2018. Already in 2019, it became the first recipient of the Middle East for Spanish exports. In the rest of the markets, a list of privileged partners has already been identified.
“If one sees the great international economic partners that Spain has, there is no shortage of the United States, where private funds predominate; Emirates, Qatar, Norway, Singapore or Saudi Arabia. They already have investment experience in Spain and we are going to interact with all of them. But this list does not exclude others, ”says Muñiz.
Qatar Investment, PIF, GIC or Norges, among those identified as strategic partners
Spain Global will open the aforementioned channel of dialogue with other governments to “reach large agreements on specific investment vehicles in Spain.” In parallel, work will be done to identify private funds willing to collaborate with Spanish investors and companies. “We will work in both channels always hand in hand with the Ministry of Commerce and Invest in Spain, which are the ones that have the ability to crystallize this interest in specific projects.”
At some of the doors that the Government is going to knock on, there is notable concern about diversifying interests from hydrocarbons or transportation: “They have very strong investments in renewables and ecological transition throughout the world, and they are interested in the Spanish case. They are also attracted by the digitization agenda, from smart mobility, to microchips and manufacturing technology. ”
Spain Global’s message has to do with a rapid recovery and transformation of the Spanish economy once vaccination and new treatments manage to mitigate the pandemic. “The European recovery and resilience plan practically doubles the financial capacity offered by the EU’s multi-annual framework. Its funds place Spain in a scenario that is reminiscent of the impulse we had in the years we entered the European Communities to converge, over two decades, with the most advanced economies. This is an extraordinary window to participate in this new process in Spain, committed to a digital, green and inclusive transformation ”, Muñiz sentence.
Spain seeks the creation of a forum before the OECD in which common measures on mobility are established throughout the planet in times of crisis. “We understand the concerns of transport and we are committed to achieving an international mobility pact with safety criteria,” explains Manuel Muñiz.
After trying to open different safe corridors for tourism, the Secretary of State recognizes the complexity of advancing between the multiple forms of restriction to free movement that have occurred in Europe. It does speak of a Spanish victory when on October 13 the EU approved a common framework of recommendations. “We managed to prevent the borders from being closed again; that entire territories and not countries be evaluated, or that quarantines be changed to diagnostic tests ”.
Regarding the requirement of PCR at origin for travelers from high-risk destinations, “it is a decision aligned with the European recommendation.” Aware of Clamor for the more affordable antigen test, Muñiz argues that “Spain is the country with the least burdensome measures; as soon as the antigen tests are sufficiently sensitive we will allow them. Or it could do with the vaccine when it is deployed. “