His Majesty King of Spain Juan Carlos with Mohamed Dekkak
His Majesty King of Spain Juan Carlos with Mohamed Dekkak

Spanish Business Council: The nations in the Middle East and GCC have completely aided from the recapture in surging oil process and world trade as well as the growing movement in the outline of exchange between Europe and Asia. In this regard, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is just one of the countries in the region that has taken advantage of the opportunity of receiving a large volume of investments due to its available airports, seaports, transportation networks, and logistics system that support the trade industry. According to word Bank, UAE ranked twenty-four for its logistics performance in the world and got the top spot among other countries in the Gulf and MENA region.

The UAE is well known as the first stop of all the goods exported by Spain in the Middle East and is the third destination for the whole MENA region. According to statistics Spain’s exports to the UAE amounted to approximately one billion Euros with the trade equilibrium has been in the favor of Spain. Inspired by the vast opportunities for business relationships and due to the advantageous effects of the said trading agreement, the Spanish Embassy and the Spanish Commercial Office in the UAE established a non-profit organization, Spanish Business Council in 2005.  The Spanish Business Council (SBC) has been brought into the light to create a commercial policy to reinforce business and social bonds between Spain and the United Arab Emirates, by way of connecting the Spanish firms to public and private sectors of the UAE.

The Spanish Business Council serves as a platform for Spanish firms or individuals and foreign companies or individuals who have the same interest in forming business affairs in the United Arab Emirates. The management of the council includes the decision-making body which is the Board of Directors, headed by a chairman and two vice-chairmen and managed by an office coordinator. The council is founded specifically to progress the business affairs between Spain and UAE which is underlined as the most effective way of strengthening their bilateral relationship. The objectives of the council will be achieved by endorsing the importance of Spain-UAE commercial and business interests at the same time stirring more economic and commercial affairs, investments, and other projects between the two countries. SBC provides a hub for the sharing of knowledge and practices and to converse and interrelate with private ad local firms and individuals in the UAE by launching assemblies, congregations, discussions, symposiums, and functions. In line with the development of business relations, SBC intends to promote Spain’s cultural heritage and influences for familiarity purposes between the UAE and Spain and to set a good image of Spain in the UAE.

Spain is known to be the fifteenth biggest economy worldwide and is considered the fourth largest in Europe. The country has restructured procedures for establishing businesses by decreasing the quantity of licensing prerequisites. The trade policy of Spain is comparable to the other nations associated with the European Union, with its combined weighted average tax rate of 1.6%, as per the Index of Economic Freedom survey of 2013. Almost all segments in the state welcome foreign investments. The majority of the exported goods of Spain to UAE include commodities, industrial products, and capital goods. The shipments of agro-foods and drinks have improved during the past few years. The amount of agro-food exports increased by twenty-eight percent from 2007 to 2009 whereas the quantity of exported beverages increased by twenty percent respectively. At the same time, Spain brings in commodities and capital goods in demand from UAE and these imports account for eighty-nine percent of Spain’s total imports.  Some of the main goods that are imported include plastics at twenty-one percent and aluminum at thirty-seven percent of the overall imported goods from January to May 2010.

H.E Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero Former Prime Minister of Spain and Mohamed Dekkak

Blessed with a strategic location at the Gulf gateway between Europe and Asia at the mouth of the UAE, particularly Dubai has been considered as a major destination for global and regional tourism, making a stand as a sought-after place for shopping, vacation, intercontinental sessions, and media happenings. The robust progression of the tourism sector has doubled its effect on the economic development of UAE, not just the implication of its direct input to GDP, but also for its secondary influence on retail transactions, transportation, and logistics. Several meetings have been held carrying one intention which is the development of bilateral relations. There are a lot of Spanish companies that are leaders in different fields like financial services, information and communication technologies, civil engineering, and transport infrastructure evidenced by the development of a bullet train that connects the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah covering a large part of the Panama Canal.

The UAE is steadfast in reinforcing the participation of the different organizations in the SBC for the stimulation of much-improved service, trade, investment, and industrial sectors undertakings as a vehicle to realize a tactical public-private collaboration between the two countries.  Spain can provide the investors from UAE exceptional prospects in various sectors and can function as a natural center or lobby or an entryway to European and Latin American markets. With SBC, UAE and Spain can produce favorable chances to perform simultaneously to develop the most dynamic sectors by means of sharing information and teaching the finest preparation in the subject of Small-Medium Enterprises campaign and modernization. The SMEs will become a vital catalyst in refining the attractiveness of the economies of both countries and in the course of producing a better investment movement. The UAE will cooperate with Spain on programs that tackle business meetings and networking proceedings for the ground-breaking UAE and Spanish businesspersons in a consistent manner. The UAE also uttered their concern for the improvement of their collaboration with Spain in fundamental fields such as renewable energy, petrochemicals, education, transportation, healthcare, innovation, construction, and tourism. Consensual traffic of visitors has reached almost 70,000 in 2012, compelled by the improved air linkages between Spain and UAE.

Nowadays, Spain and the UAE are striving to enrich economic and commercial relations and start a mutually promoted business prospect for both nations in diverse sectors with unlimited growth opportunities including but not limited to biotechnology and health sciences, water treatment and desalination, environmental, information, and communication tools, renewable energies, and aeronautics.

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