Catalan exports grow in Australia, Latin America and Northern Africa
54% of Catalonia’s external sales go to the international market while the remaining 46% go to the rest of Spain. The number of Catalan companies which sold their products outside of Spain in 2012 was 45,000 enterprises, representing a 6.3% increase in relation to the 2011 figures and 11,554 more companies than at the start of the economic crisis. The export sector represented €58.28 billion, which was 28% of Catalonia’s GDP in 2012. The figure represented a 5% increase compared to 2011 and a 15% growth on data from before the economic crisis. Sales outside the European Union increased by 16% last year, especially in Oceania (61%), Africa (24%) and Latin America (21%).
Barcelona (ACN).- Catalan export companies are increasing their sales abroad in the face of the economic crisis both in Spain and the rest of the European Union, according to a study by the Catalan Government. Sales outside the European Union increased by 16% last year, especially in Oceania (61%), Northern Africa (24%) and Latin America (21%). The report \u2018Radiografia de les exportacions catalanes 2012\u2019 (in English, \u2018Radiography of the 2012 Catalan exports\u2019) indicated that the export sector represented \u20AC58.28 billion, which was 28% of Catalonia\u2019s GDP in 2012. The figure represented a 5% increase compared to 2011 and a 15% growth on data from before the economic crisis. By the end of 2012, 54.3% of Catalonia\u2019s external sales went to the international market while the remaining 45.7% went to the rest of Spain. Before the economic crisis, the situation was the other way round.
Exports are one of the main engines of the Catalan economy. Not only have they increased their share within the economy but they have significantly grown in the last few years. The number of Catalan companies which sold their products outside of Spain in 2012 was 45,000 enterprises, representing a 6.3% increase in relation to the 2011 figures and 11,554 more companies than at the start of the economic crisis. The data was released to ACN by the Catalan Government\u2019s Director General for Industry, Antoni Maria Grau, who participated in the 20th meeting of the Business Promotion Centres of the Catalan Government\u2019s Agency for Business Competitiveness and Internationalisation (ACC1Ó). The projects related to civil engineering, construction, water management, energy and environment attracted most of the attention of the participants in this internationalisation forum for Catalan companies. At the two-day meeting, the 34 directors of ACC1Ó centres abroad will be providing strategic advice to some 1,000 business managers from Catalan companies looking for new markets.
The Catalan economy is responsible for 26% of Spain\u2019s exports
\u201CCatalonia is a country with a very important export sector, with generation of wealth being based on industrial activities in very diverse sectors. The Catalan economy has very competitive companies at a world level, which have significant export levels\u201D, explained Grau. He also indicated that the chemical, automotive, agri-food, metallurgical, textile and machinery sectors \u201Care the best positioned\u201D to grow abroad. This trend has meant that in the last few years, Catalan companies have sold more outside Spain than to the rest of Spain. In 2012, 45.7% of the sales outside Catalonia were to the rest of Spain while the remaining 54.3% was to the international market. In addition, Catalonia makes 26% of the total Spanish exports.
Sales to the EU decrease while those to Oceania, Africa and Latin America grow
Looking at geographical areas, the European Union continued to be Catalonia\u2019s main market for its exports in 2012. 62% of Catalonia\u2019s sales abroad go the EU, although it represented 0.9% less than in the previous year. In 2005, Catalonia\u2019s sales to the EU represented 74% of all its international sales. However, the sales outside the EU increased by 16.1% in 2012. The increase in exports to Oceania, which grew by 61%, was particularly significant. Furthermore, those to Africa increased by 24% and to Latin America did so by 21%. Grau particularly emphasised the economic dynamism of countries such as Peru, Colombia, Russia, Turkey and Australia. In addition, besides China and India, Grau also stressed the growing importance of other Asian economies, such as Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Grau asked Catalan companies to be creative and go abroad and grow. \u201CWhen the markets are analysed individually, there are some surprises. While Belgium is the third buyer of Catalan cava, there are very mature markets, which are hard to get into, such as Italy, which is very competitive in this [sparkling wine] sector\u201D he said. However he asked exporters not to give up and to try to always sell \u201Ca differentiated product, which has an added value\u201D, he recommended.
He also talked about the problems that many Catalan export companies are facing, mainly the lack of loans to finance growth. \u201CWe provide companies with advice on getting funds and we can also find some resources from the Catalan Finance Institute (ICF, Catalonia\u2019s Public Financial Assistance Body) or the Catalan Business and Employment Ministry. However everyone is aware of the situation of the Catalan Government\u2019s budget at the moment\u201D, he said. Despite the lack of public funds, Grau engaged in trying to find individualised solutions for each company that want to export their products.