Poul Pedersen to El Mundo: “Spain remains one of the fastest-growing economies among the larger members of the European Union”
Madrid, Spain – Taking advantage of Poul Pedersen’s visit to Spain, we met with the founder and Managing Partner of Pedersen & Partners and his Spanish team to learn more about the predictions for increased foreign investment in Spain in the coming years.
The latest edition of the "Barometer of the Business Climate in Spain from the Perspective of the Foreign Investor", prepared by ICEX-Invest in Spain, concludes that foreign companies will increase their investments in Spain, in addition to their staff and their turnover. What is your opinion on this information?
Poul Pedersen: We can confirm that these days, Spain is always mentioned positively when we meet clients at the global or EMEA HQ level. This is very different from what we were hearing three to five years ago. With three consecutive years of continuous growth, Spain remains one of the fastest-growing economies among larger members of the European Union. The high-quality professionals who are available on the Spanish market are highly desirable to foreign direct investment interests. Spain can boast several other valued characteristics, including infrastructure, quality of life and market size.
Alvaro Arias Echeverría, Partner: "The economic, political and social stability of Spain compared to other European countries makes our country a clear destination for foreign investment. The most active sectors are tourism, hotel, real estate and consumer goods. Investment takes place directly through companies, or through mixed debt and risk capital."
To what percentage does Pedersen & Partners plan to expand its investment in Spain?
A large part of our continued interest in Spain stems from the rapidly increasing demand for global, diverse and competent executives. We are budgeting a 10% revenue increase in Spain in 2017, and a similar increase in the organisation. The financial crisis had a significant impact on the talent pool and it reverberated for quite some time, but as more and more businesses are picking up speed, so does the demand for candidates who can meet the shifting requirements.
As a leader in emerging markets, can you let us know which investors are interested in Spain, and why?
The flow is mainly the other way – Spanish firms hire leaders from Latin America, Asia and other emerging markets. LATAM firms do expand via Spain, but firms from other emerging markets typically enter Europe via other markets.
From the Spanish subsidiary of Pedersen & Partners, what are your target markets?
Madrid is our Iberia and LATAM HQ. As a global firm, we can use our extensive on-the-ground presence to target both mature and developing markets. This is one of the most important aspects of our relationship with our clients, as we can secure seamless cross-border assignment transitions and build intercontinental work teams.
Is Latin America still a good place to invest? In what specific markets?
Latin America had a difficult 2016. In addition to its own challenges, it was affected by political, social and economic processes in Europe and the US. Unfortunately, the improvement that we saw in Spain was lacking in LATAM. We are predicting that 2017 will be better based on the observations of our LATAM portfolio, but it’s still far from the old days of high growth.
Puri Paniagua, Client Partner, adds: "The Colombian peace process encourages potential growth in the country. Brazil remains a gamble, especially in fields such as renewables, biofuel and other specific niches. As for Argentina, the election of president Macri a year ago brought hope to the market and the country continues in its fight for control over inflation and deficit. We predict growth for 2017, but at very slow rates. We will have to wait and see."
Pedersen & Partners is a leading international Executive Search firm. We operate 56 wholly owned offices in 52 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia & the Americas. Our values Trust, Relationship and Professionalism apply to our interaction with clients as well as executives. More information about Pedersen & Partners is available at www.pedersenandpartners.com
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