Spain includes South Africa as ‘priority’ trade market

08 July 2015

The South African market has been included as one of Spain’s 16 “priority markets” as the European country intensifies its efforts to raise exports in the wake of the global economic crisis and as its companies move to diversify their foreign direct investments to “dynamic” regions.

Speaking at the inaugural Spain-Southern Africa Investment and Business Cooperation Forum in Johannesburg on Tuesday, ICEX Spain Trade and Investment CEO Francisco Javier Garzón said South Africa was the only sub-Saharan Africa country included in the list of priority markets.

But he stressed that Spanish companies – 25 of which were participating in the three-day trade and investment mission to South Africa – were also increasingly interested in the opportunities arising across the Southern Africa region. Garzón said Spanish companies had emerged as leading investors, particularly in the renewable-energy sector, with Spanish companies having been awarded several of the wind and solar projects arising from the REIPPPP.

“South Africa is a particularly interesting country since it combines market size and growth potential with stability and sound macroeconomic management, [while] the rest of Southern Africa also shows promising growth and growing opportunities.”

Opportunities would grow as the ‘Cape-to-Cairo’ free trade arrangement involving 26 African countries was implemented in the coming months and expanded, over time, to encompass all of the continent’s 54 countries.

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