An Important Step Towards Internationalisation
A piece by an industrial engineer published in our Fulls dels Enginyers bulletin in 2010 prompted reader reactions that led to a key meeting on 9 December 2010. Three industrial engineers who wanted to set up a working group to familiarise our members with China met with me; they also wanted to build a network to include expat industrial engineers based in China and local engineers interested in the country that is set to become the number 1 world economic power by the end of this year.
Challenges and opportunities for public-private partnerships for infrastructure in China
As the largest global operator in infrastructure management for transport and communications, at Abertis we keep a close eye on the infrastructure potential of emerging and 'emerged' economies, especially in Asia, which may become a priority.
The Catalan Economy in 2014
Macroeconomic indicators over the last few months indicate an improvement in the main economic variables. The worst of the economic crisis appears to be over and the economy is beginning to pick up, although most experts agree that the recovery will be slow.
When Joaquim asked me to write an editorial about China, I thought, “But I’m from Figueres!” Indeed, despite my looks, I’m about as Chinese as you, apart from my ancestral genes. The fact is, I feel Catalan and my only experience with China is through work and what I have seen from my parents, who came to Spain to finish their studies over 40 years ago and are now completely integrated into Catalan society.
I am grateful for the opportunity given me by my fellow engineers from the Industrial Policy and Technological Innovation Committee to address engineers interested in developments in China. My activity in this country began in 1987 when I spent three months teaching a course in the Master’s program negotiated by the European Communities for a limited number of years in Beijing.
Catalonia has always been open to the rest of the world. The Government of Catalonia has worked to secure Catalonia’s rightful role with international prominence to match its potential by exporting our wealth and our values, which define us as Europeans, as a driving force, as a society that is plural, welcoming and caring. We have also welcomed input from the rest of the world: foreign students, researchers and other citizens of foreign countries, cultural works and creations, and solid, profitable ties of entrepreneurship and business.
The economy is obviously the hub of our bilateral relations. Although economic relations with China today are much closer and produce much higher figures than a few decades ago, they are still below their possibilities. Whereas in 1990 only half a dozen Spanish companies had set up in the People’s Republic (plus some twenty more in Hong Kong), today there are 600. But among more than 600,000 foreign companies, this is only 1 per thousand. Our exports account for 0.45% of Chinese imports, whereas Spain’s share in worldwide exports is close to 2%.
I have had the chance to meet Spanish people who have either gone to work in China or been posted there. For many, China was their first international posting and very often their own choice of destination. Spain does not have a huge portfolio of multinational senior managers because we do not have many large corporations with a long multinational track record. However, this is changing, particularly with people who have gained experience in Latin America.