The President of the Government of Spain emphasises the strength of Spain's economy in the face of global challenges

President's News - 2022.9.21

New York (United States of America)

The President of the Government of Spain began his speech with a categorical condemnation of Putin's announcement of referendums being held on the integration of the Donbas territories in Russia as, "something that will never be recognised by the international community". In this regard, Sánchez stressed that Spain will always support Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. "It is precisely now that the unity of Europe and the democracies in support of Ukraine is most needed."

During the Economic Forum, Sánchez established the keys to the growth of the Spanish economy: commitment to environmental and energy sustainability as a factor for progress, solid foundations for the Spanish economy, and robust, balanced growth with a positive employment trend.

The President of the Government of Spain reaffirmed that "We have everything in place to welcome major investments in the areas that are already shaping a future to which Spain will not be late this time. We have a country plan in place, the human capital and infrastructure, and we have a business fabric with the ambition to turn challenges into opportunities."

The mission of the Spain-US Chamber of Commerce is to promote the expansion of bilateral trade and investment between the two countries. Its members include the largest companies in Spain and the United States in sectors such as banking, energy, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, airlines, law, business management and consulting, accounting, fashion, food and beverages, and furniture.

Sánchez referred to the consequences of Russia's aggression against Ukraine: the energy crisis facing Europe, the evolution of prices and their effects on the economy and the welfare of citizens, as well as the possibility of a food crisis due to the increase in the price of agricultural raw materials and fertilisers. In this respect, Sánchez pointed out that, "it is crucial to respond to this challenge with contingency plans aimed at facing any scenario, and also oriented towards the future".

On the keys to boosting the European economy, the President defended Spain's sustained commitment over the last four years to renewable energies, which now account for more than 58% of installed electrical power. "Thanks to this, today we are one of the European countries that is least dependent on Russian gas. We have almost a third of all regasification capacity in Europe", Sánchez declared.

Likewise, the Chief Executive highlighted that, so far this year, the evolution of the main indicators confirms solid economic growth for the Spanish economy, well above the average of the European Union: 1.1% compared to the 0.7% average for the 27 Member States. Moreover, the main international economic organisations predict that the Spanish economy will grow by over 4% in 2022, and by over 2% in 2023.

In terms of employment, Sánchez recalled the figures for Social Security contribution in August, which grew by over 670,000 people compared to the previous year, with an annual growth rate of over 3.3%. He also stressed that the percentage of temporary contracts is less than 20% because, "our labour market offers higher quality jobs and is much more resilient to stressful situations". This economic and employment growth is reflected in the figures for some sectors, such as tourism and industrial production, with growth above that of the other major EU economies.

Since 2021, Spain has been committed to a profound reform of the European electricity market, which led this year to the creation of the so-called "Iberian exception", a mechanism to limit the reference price of gas in Spain and Portugal. As the President pointed out: "The result is unquestionable: a considerable reduction in wholesale electricity prices in both countries". Furthermore, the European Commission has just announced the need to implement intervention measures in the energy market, in line with what Spain has been demanding since last year.

"With regard to the commitment to a clean, decarbonised economy, my government will not take any steps backwards", Sánchez stressed. The Government of Spain has three priorities in these areas: reforming the European electricity market, further accelerating the deployment of renewable energies, and investing in interconnections and energy storage systems.

Spain will allocate 40% of the 'NextGenerationEU' funds to energy transition and sustainability, and is committed to sectors, such as the aerospace industry, electric vehicles, the food industry, microchip and semiconductor production, the social economy and cutting-edge healthcare. To this effect, the President stressed that Spain has already managed to attract significant foreign capital investment in leading sectors, such as electric vehicles, technology and pharmaceuticals.

The President of the Government of Spain closed his speech by recalling that, in a context marked by uncertainty, Spain guarantees strength and stability. As exemplified by Spain's leadership in energy policy and ecological transition, "it is not about assisting change, but leading change".

Non official translation

More Info