The president of Confederation of Employers and Industries of Spain (CEOE), Antonio Garamendi; the Secretary of State for Commerce, Xiana Méndez; the president of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, José Luis Bonet; and the president of the Chinese International Contractors Association (CHINCA), Fang Qiuchen participated in the first meeting of the Spain-China Business Advisory Council held at the headquarters of the State Secretariat for Trade. In charge of presenting the Forum’s conclusions were the Spanish co-president of the Council and president of GESTAMP, Francisco J. Riberas and the Chinese co-president of the Council and President of the Board of Directors of the ICBC, Yi Huiman. The Forum of CEOs was closed by the Spanish Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, and the Chinese Minister of Commerce, Zhong Shan.
The Chinese-Spanish Business Advisory Council
The Chinese-Spanish Business Advisory Council was established in accordance with a memorandum of understanding signed on April 20, 2015, between the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism. The purpose of this Council is to promote and strengthen bilateral economic and trade relations and to promote communication and cooperation between companies in both countries. Likewise, the Council constitutes an exchange platform in which the companies of both countries with existing or potential interests in the respective markets may offer advice and suggestions and carry out joint discussions on the outlook for Chinese-Spanish economic and trade cooperation, as well as present proposals to the governments of the two countries for the strengthening of economic and commercial cooperation.
In this regard, one of the main goals of the Council is to actively participate in high-level visits from both countries and the related supporting activities, to collaborate in the business meetings held by the two parties during the visits of these country’s leaders and, as one of the key activities of these visits, to inform the leaders of both countries of the outcome by drafting a document of conclusions and recommendations that will be presented as the reference for those interviews between the leaders.
The president of CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, pointed out that the first meeting of the Business Advisory Council is comprised of the most influential Spanish and Chinese companies representing the most important economic sectors in bilateral trade and investment. In fact, he noted that the Spanish companies attending the meeting are world leaders of renowned prestige with a consolidated global presence in sectors such as the automotive, agri-food, industrial technologies, engineering, telecommunications, technology information, tourism and sports industries.
Proposals and recommendations
Garamendi stressed that the economies and companies of both countries have many synergies of which full advantage should be taken, through proposals and initiatives for business cooperation and through the elimination of obstacles that limit trade in goods and services, investments and the mobility of professionals. This is why he believes it is essential for the Council to take on the responsibility of formulating recommendations and proposing initiatives to both governments, in order to enable business cooperation in economic sectors of common interest and with the aim of boosting bilateral economic relations, granting them appropriate importance, since they represent the second and the thirteenth economies in the world.
Thus, the president of CEOE said that we should not only strengthen cooperation in sectors already very present in bilateral economic relations, such as the automotive, agri-food, fashion and chemical industries, but also reinforce other areas of activity, such as finance, tourism, sports and cooperation in third markets. This will require, according to Garamendi, the full involvement of governments and the collaboration of the business organizations of the two countries, which are necessary to implement many of the Advisory Council’s recommendations and initiatives.
The State Secretariat for Trade and the members of the Spanish-Chinese Business Advisory Council agreed that the Council would become a platform for coordination and cooperation between companies in both countries. It will also provide advice to both governments to boost bilateral economic, commercial and business relations; it will promote business cooperation in both markets; it will promote the mobility of professionals and the development of talent; and, finally, it will rely on the Secretariat for the implementation of its initiatives and activities.