QUITO – Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe urged Spanish firms Friday to use all their “creativity and dynamism” to deal with the economic crisis, since hard times like the present are the best reason to “seek opportunities that can be exploited” through a greater presence in a wider range of markets.
The prince delivered his message to a forum of Spanish and Ecuadorian business owners and executives meeting in Quito to examine the possibilities of doing business in this Andean country, which Felipe is visiting for the first time, accompanied by his wife, Princess Letizia.
Besides offering his backing to Spanish firms already established in Ecuador, in his closing address he urged all of Spain’s companies to make use of their “great potential” to deal with the crisis.
“The entrepreneurial spirit plus the drive to find new markets and new opportunities are highly valuable and essential tools for successfully overcoming the hardships,” the crown prince said.
As an example he pointed to organizations that have decided to do business in Ecuador, all of them exponents of a “Brand Spain” that represents “quality and excellence.”
And he said that this entrepreneurial spirit “never succumbs to whatever adversities there may be in an otherwise favorable environment,” such as exists in Spain because it has “companies that are groundbreaking, competitive, modern and innovative” in many productive sectors.
Prince Felipe said that economic relations between Ecuador and Spain are on balance “very positive,” because they are based on “the tradition, the intensity and the extent of our ties” and “on mutual understanding, both in the public and private sectors.”
The result is a bilateral trade volume of approximately $1 billion per year.
“There’s no doubt that the economic crisis has spurred Spanish companies to seek markets overseas and that Ecuador has made itself a promising destination,” the crown prince said.
Arturo Fernandez, vice president of Spain’s major business organization, the CEOE, also addressed the forum and stressed the efforts of Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa’s administration to forge a legal framework that makes the Andean nation more inviting to Spanish investment.
Some 200 Spanish and Ecuadorian business owners and executives took part in the two-day meeting, whose inauguration was attended by Correa.
Spain observes with great interest the business opportunities open to Spain in a country like Ecuador, whose annual growth is around 5 percent.
About 30 Spanish firms are currently operating in Ecuador in such sectors as energy, telecommunications and fisheries. EFE