Spain reinforces its status as a “natural bridge” for companies from the Middle East to Latin America – News

Francisco Polo, High Commissioner of the Spanish Entrepreneurial Nation

Spain will provide new opportunities for businesses in the Middle East, particularly in the United Arab Emirates, to expand into Latin America, emphasizing the special relationship between Spain and Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America



Published: Fri 25 Feb 2022, 17:59

Spain’s new entrepreneurship and innovation strategy will reinforce its current status as “a natural bridge for Middle Eastern businesses to Latin America”, a senior Spanish official has said.

“As Spain has historical ties with Latin America, it is a natural bridge for Europe and the Middle East to Latin America. We want to continue to strengthen this position. The United Arab Emirates, in as a land of opportunity, can take advantage of it. [development]”, said Francisco Polo, High Commissioner of the Spanish Entrepreneurial Nation.

Spain is taking decisive steps to become an entrepreneurial nation, with a new law on start-ups and a national strategy to become one of the best countries in the world for entrepreneurship and innovation, said Polo, top official of the Spanish government, responsible for promoting this strategy.

He added that Spain will provide new opportunities for businesses in the Middle East, especially in the United Arab Emirates, to expand into Latin America, highlighting the special relationship between Spain and Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America, because they share a common language and cultural history. .

Polo explained that Spain’s new national strategy has created an ecosystem that encourages and supports start-ups and innovations in all sectors of the economy.

“We see that the UAE also continues to transform itself into an entrepreneurial nation, with its own [characteristics] like we want to have ours,” the official said.

Spain is trying to attract talent, he added. “We are discussing with the United Arab Emirates to improve mutual investment frameworks in both countries. There are many opportunities for both countries and there are many complementarities between us. It is a land of opportunities . So, I’m here to talk to the Emiratis.”

Spanish companies have already made their presence felt in the UAE, the official said, revealing that 157 Spanish companies operate in the UAE.

The official said that the new Spanish strategy for entrepreneurship foresees that start-ups will be able to solve certain socio-political problems such as the gender income gap.

Promoting women in entrepreneurship in the country would help close the gender gap, Polo pointed out.

Speaking of the income gap, he said: “If we divide the population into three income segments, about 14% in the top segment [with highest income] in the country become entrepreneurs. Among the third segment with the lowest incomes, only 4% become entrepreneurs.”

This means, Polo explained, that people in the second segment, with an average income, and the majority of the other two segments never choose entrepreneurship.

“We are losing a lot of talent, a lot of people who could become entrepreneurs because of different barriers. Therefore, the new strategy has policy measures to encourage low-income people to become entrepreneurs,” he said.

Making investment accessible to all, attracting international investment and talent to the economy are among such policy measures, he added.

“We want to offer people from all over the world the opportunity to come to Spain and start their business in the country,” said Polo.

To attract talent, there is a new category called “digital nomads”, which means anyone working anywhere in the world can come to Spain under this special program and live in the country, he said. -he explains.

Residency and tax rules have also been relaxed for investors, start-up founders and their employees.

Now the number of foreigners residing in Spain exceeds 5.8 million, said Polo, citing the Permanent Observatory of Immigration, under the General Secretariat for the Objectives and Policies of Inclusion and Social Welfare of the Ministry of Inclusion.

“We are going to have more expats in Spain. Spain is known as a very welcoming nation. Our legal framework is going to be even more welcoming in that sense,” he said.

-Wam

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