Location, economic ecosystem among reasons why Spanish companies choose Malaysia
05 Apr 2022
Malaysia’s excellent location, developed economic ecosystem, and its integration in the global value chains with a multicultural English-speaking population are some of the features taken into account by Spanish companies for choosing Malaysia as a destination of choice.
Spain’s ambassador to Malaysia José Miguel Corvinos Lafuente said that’s why Malaysia outstands as recipient of Spanish investment in the ASEAN region, with a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) that amounts to 925 million euro (over RM4.3 billion).
“Now as before, Malaysia is a relevant partner for Spain,” he said in his speech at the inauguration of the new Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of Spain in Malaysia, here, recently. The office has a presence in Malaysia since 1987. Also present was Spain’s Economic and Commercial Counsellor in Malaysia, Inés Pérez-Durántez.
The Malaysian Spanish Chamber of Commerce & Industry, also known as La Camara, is also housed in the new office.
The Ambassador explained that Spanish economic presence in Malaysia covers a wide range of sectors – from digital economy, engineering, manufacturing, bioscience, and aerospace; to fashion, gastronomy, and ceramics.
Corvinos pointed out that Spanish companies operating in Malaysia in the railways sector, as well as in solar energy, had especially contributed to the efficiency and sustainability of the Malaysian economy.
“And through their Industrial Collaboration Programmes (ICP), they bring about technology transfers and provide training for Malaysian students and professionals in the use of high-end technology,” he further said.
Statistics show that Spain’s exports to Malaysia was 395.58 million euro (RM 1.86 billion) in 2021, while its imports from Malaysia was about 1.42 billion euro (RM6.60 billion)
However, Corvinos reminded that “we cannot be complacent”, as there is certainly potential for further collaboration between the two countries.
“Spain is the fourth major economy in the European Union and the 14th largest in the world, with a proven record of leadership in many different domains. And Malaysia is a country of opportunities, so there is definitely scope to keep on exploring and identifying new areas of cooperation with Malaysian companies and public sector,” he said.
Spain’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2020 was 1.20 trillion euro (RM 5.57 trillion) – around four times the GDP of Malaysia and the 14th largest in the world.
Talking about where Spain stands from a technological perspective, he said that in the aerospace and defence industry, Spain is one of the few countries in the world capable of covering the entire design and manufacturing cycle of an aircraft.
Besides that, Spain is also the European leader (3rd worldwide) for its high-speed rail network, with more than 3,402 kilometres in service, where this extensive experience of the Spanish railway companies has been exported to more than 90 countries.
According to Corvinos, Spain is a leader as well in the development of renewable energy from both a technological and industrial standpoint. In 2020, 43 per cent of the electricity generated in Spain was produced with renewable energy.
He also highlighted that two Spanish cities – Bilbao and Zaragoza – are ranked within the 15 first smart cities in the world by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD).
Meanwhile, Pérez-Durántez announced some of the Economic and Commercial Office’s plans for 2022, such as a business roundtable in Selangor, a virtual healthcare mission, as well as a high-end event with a team of Michelin Star Spanish chefs coming to Malaysia in the last quarter of the year.