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Overseas investment, which provides employment for more than 40,000 people, maintains its confidence in the Basque Country

2011 November 24

Overseas investment, which provides employment for more than 40,000 people, maintains its confidence in the Basque Country


• The Minister for Industry, Bernabé Unda, held a meeting with representatives of approximately 350 foreign-capital companies in order to address their concerns within the Basque Country's Invest strategy

• The companies stressed that the Basque Country "provides a good foundation for investment", drawing attention to logistic questions, infrastructures and the professionalism of Basque businesspeople and employees as the main sources of allure.

• These companies invoice 8700 million euros, almost 9% of the business generated in the Basque Country. The confidence of foreign capital is also reflected in the fact that 97% of the executives of the subsidiaries are Basques

• The so-called investor forum has agreed to create an Advisory Committee to facilitate periodic communication between the Basque Government and overseas companies

Foreign-capital companies in the Basque Country continue to demonstrate confidence in our region and maintain their commitment, which was verified today in a meeting involving a number of representatives of the 326 subsidiaries of overseas companies and the Minister for Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism, Bernabé Unda. Data corroborating the confidence of foreign capital in the Basque Country includes the fact that 97% of the executives of the subsidiaries are Basques, according to a survey conducted by SPRI (The Society for Competitive Transformation), a dependency of the Basque Ministry for Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism. Furthermore, 82% affirm that their business is meeting or exceeding expectations and 70% indicated that they were satisfied with the support afforded by the Basque Administration. 80% of the foreign-capital companies established in the Basque Country have been in existence for more than ten years.

The meeting held today in Bilbao, attended by approximately fifteen company executives along with Minister Unda, the Vice-Minister for Innovation and Technology, Juan Goicolea, and the General Manager of the SPRI Group, Tomás Orbea, represents the first contact between the Government and foreign investors within the framework of the Invest in the Basque Country strategy. This service, presented in March, represents the creation of a department exclusively dedicated to attracting foreign investment: that is, focused on the systematic attraction of investment in a professional manner, a task that was previously carried out sporadically.

In addition to attracting investment, the other cornerstone of Invest in the Basque Country involves attending to foreign companies established in the region, referred to as aftercare, which was the objective of the meeting held today between the Basque Government and various companies.

The 326 foreign-capital companies located in the Basque Country provide employment for more than 40,100 people, 7% of the active workforce in the Basque Country, according to the latest report issued by the National Statistics Institute (INE). These companies also provide a turnover of 8700 millions, almost 9% of the total for the Basque Country.

During the meeting, the executives affirmed that the Basque Country "provides a good foundation for continued investment commitment". They agreed that the main business attractions are logistic questions, infrastructures and the professionalism of businesspeople and employees. Having drawn attention to the facilities to gain access to institutions, they expressed their concern in relation to internal competitiveness within their own multinationals.

The Minister for Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism, Bernabé Unda, emphasised that the Invest in the Basque Country strategy forms a part of the one of the courses of action within the 2010-2013 Business Competitiveness Plan, passed by the Basque Parliament, which establishes the "projection of a regional image that attracts investment, talent and tourism" as one of the cornerstones of internationalisation. Mr Unda affirmed that, in the current economic situation, new investment is at a minimal level in the Basque Country and Europe as a whole, whereby "a highly significant portion of new direct foreign investment comes from the foreign companies that are already established in the region". The minister stated that the Basque Country "has a lot to offer to all overseas investors", drawing attention to its successful process to transform production, the qualified workforce and the experience of managers, widely recognised for their honesty. "We want to become acquainted with their ideas and plans. We want to demonstrate sufficient criteria and judgement to ensure that investment in the Basque Country is not only maintained, but also increased", he stated.

Furthermore, Tomas Orbea drew attention to a number of important aspects of the survey conducted on foreign-capital companies, such as their motives for establishing themselves in the region, which included good technological infrastructures and the network of local suppliers.

In the investors forum it was agreed that an advisory committee should be created to facilitate periodic communication between the Government and foreign-capital companies in the Basque Country.

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Politicians attending the event
(IX term 2009 - 2012)
  • Bernabé Unda
    Consejero de Industria, Innovación, Comercio y Turismo (IX term)