25 mar 2019
Breakfast of the Exporting Board in Buenos Aires

ANTONIO GARAMENDI AND JOSÉ LUIS BONET TAKE PART IN A MEETING WITH ARGENTINA’S MINISTER OF LABOUR, DANTE SICA

Within the framework of the official visit of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain to the Latin American country.

The president of CEOE, Antonio Garamendi and the president of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, José Luis Bonet, took part in a breakfast meeting with the members of the Exporting Board, within the framework of the official State visit of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain to the Latin American country.

The president of CEOE took part in a breakfast meeting in Argentina
The president of CEOE, Antonio Garamendi and the president of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, José Luis Bonet, in a meeting with Argentina's Minister of Labour, Dante Sica.

The goal of the meeting, chaired by the Minister of Production and Labour of the Nation, Dante Sica, and which was attended by the president of the Spanish Official Chamber in Argentina, Guillermo Ambrogi, and Daniel Funes de Rioja, vice president of Unión Industrial Argentina, was to talk about the "Argentina Exports" Plan and to present the Spanish experience in the internationalization of SMEs, "the Spanish export miracle" and the role of business institutions and chambers in the successful development of these plans. Antonio Garamendi was accompanied by the director of CEOE’s President’s Cabinet and of CEOE International, Narciso Casado.

During the breakfast of the Exporting Table, made up of sectorial business organizations, Argentinian institutions and chambers, the president of CEOE highlighted how Spanish companies have benefitted as a result of the internationalization of their activities in the last decade.

Garamendi stated that the Spanish economy is increasingly more open, and that its figures on the trade of goods and services, as well as investments abroad, already exceed those of some of the main European countries. "However, our foreign sector still has room to grow and great challenges to overcome," he said.

CEOE believes that we must promote the process of internationalization and that is why we are working from different areas. In the economic sector, Garamendi said that it is essential to increase the export base, diversify markets and increase the added value of our products.

In the aspects related to commercial activity, he explained that it is essential to support trade negotiations, the extension and strengthening of the network of Economic and Commercial Offices, and the protection of investments abroad against of possible arbitrariness of States against companies. With regard to financing, Garamendi considered that the support and complementarity offered by the different instruments of public support to the Spanish company in its internationalization process are crucial.

 

Financing and SMEs

The president of CEOE reported that the ICEX and other official bodies, such as the Official Credit Institute (ICO), the Spanish Development Finance Company (COFIDES), the Industrial Technology Center (CDTI), the Spanish Export Credit Insurance Company (CESCE), the National Innovation Company, SA (ENISA) and the Spanish Refinancing Company (CERSA), have made available a series of instruments to the private sector aimed at all types of companies, in order to help with the internationalization of the Spanish economy.

Many of these instruments, according to Garamendi, are aimed at SMEs, which are the ones that experience greater difficulties to finance their internationalization, regardless of whether they are regular exporters or not. In fact, he said, they face obstacles in terms of formalities, limitations on access to financing, lack of experience of their personnel, as well as a lesser knowledge of specific sources of information to identity opportunities for expanding into foreign markets and the challenges posed by the 4.0 industry for SMEs in their production processes.

 

“Argentina Exports” Plan

The president of CEOE stressed that the “Argentina Exports” Plan promoted by the Argentinian Labour Minister, Dante Sica, has been a total success and he highly valued the fact that the private sector has been taken into account to jointly address the export challenge. He also highlighted the Plan's emphasis on quality, through the participation of the National Quality System, which provides support to the improvement efforts that companies have to make to do business abroad. In fact, Garamendi said that the role played by business organizations such as CEOE, UIA or the Chambers of Commerce in this task is very valuable.

“Our SMEs in the economy as a whole are the main reason that guides all business organizations in the preparation of their proposals and solutions, aimed at fostering an institutional and legal framework that promotes entrepreneurship and business development," he explained.

In this regard, Garamendi said that CEOE has a national business organization whose purpose is the defence, representation and promotion of the interests of SMEs and self-employed entrepreneurs, CEPYME. This organization, he explained, aims to meet the specific needs of micro, small and medium-sized companies across the country, carrying out multiple initiatives, among which it is worth underlining CEPYME 500. It consists, he added, on identifying, selecting and promoting the group of 500 companies that are leaders in business growth, both in terms of their results as well as due to their ability to generate added value, employment, innovation and international projection.

 

III Ibero-American Forum of the MSME

The president of CEOE announced the celebration of the III Ibero-American Forum of the MSME, which will take place in Buenos Aires on May 22 and 23. He stressed that this forum is a space for reflecting, exchanging good practices and discussing the reality of the Ibero-American SME, its support policies, new organizational models and the promotion of strategic alliances between countries. He also explained that it is a joint initiative of SEGIB, the government of Argentina and the Council of Iberoamerican Entrepreneurs (CEIB), whose Permanent Secretariat is entrusted to CEOE.

 

Business meeting

Tomorrow, the 26th, the president of CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, will speak at a working breakfast between Spanish and Argentinian businessmen, which will also be attended by H.M. King Felipe VI and the president of the Nation, Mauricio Macri. Other scheduled attendants include the Argentinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Jorge Faurie; the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Josep Borrell; the Secretary of State for Trade, Xiana Méndez; the Ambassador of Spain to Argentina, Javier Sandomingo; and the president of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, José Luis Bonet. During the meeting, issues of interest will be addressed, such as "the most relevant sectors of the Argentinian economy as a possible growth driver in the short and medium term"; the potential investment opportunities in different sectors of the Latin American country in the long term, beyond the economic cycles; and the incorporation of new technologies in the activity of companies in Argentina. The Argentinian Secretary of International Economic Relations, Horacio Reyser, will close the event.

 

Meetings with Argentinian authorities and institutions

During its visit to the Argentinian capital, CEOE’s delegation will also hold a meeting with representatives of CEOE's counterpart organization, the UIA, with which it plans to launch a program to promote the digitalization of SMEs. After the announcement of the III Ibero-American Forum of the MSME to be held at the end of May in Buenos Aires, they will meet with the Secretary of State for SMEs, Mariano Mayer, and with Argentinian authorities and institutions, such as the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the Republic of Argentina, to prepare the May event.