The Hon. Mark Vaile, MP
The Hon. Mark Vaile, MP

Media Release

Tuesday, 25 March 2003 - MVT22/2003

Business Encouraged to Pursue Opportunities in Spain

Australian companies are encouraged to take advantage of rapidly growing opportunities for doing business in Spain, Trade Minister Mark Vaile said today.

Mr Vaile launched Doing Business in Spain: An introductory guide to the market, in Canberra today.

"With a population twice the size of Australia's, a solid appetite for imports, and unrestricted trade access to other euro-zone countries, Spain offers tremendous opportunities for Australian business," Mr Vaile said. "Spain is the eighth largest economy in the OECD. During the past five years the Spanish economy has experienced one of the strongest rates of GDP growth in the European Union, averaging around four per cent per annum."

Two-way merchandise trade between Australia and Spain reached $1.6 billion last year. While coal continued to be our principal export worth $263 million, our exports now include elaborately transformed manufactures such as lightweight fast ferries, machinery and integrated circuits, and educational services.

"It is particularly encouraging to see a growing number of small-to-medium-sized Australian companies engaging in niche markets in Spain," Mr Vaile said. "Recent export successes include items as diverse as live crayfish, outdoor furniture, sophisticated internet technology and Australian wine. NSW wine exporter, IMEXA is successfully exporting Australian wines to Spain, the world's third largest wine producer.

"Reforms undertaken by the Spanish Government in recent years have created a welcoming environment for foreign investment and opened up new and exciting opportunities in Spain for Australian companies."

Commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Doing Business in Spain provides advice on day-to-day business dealings and aims to give Australian businesses a head start in developing profitable commercial links in Spain.

The guide is available on the DFAT website or by telephoning Jane Monico on (02) 6261 3114.

Media Contact: Matthew Doman 02 6277 7420

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