The Exporters' Club calls for economic policies to facilitate international competitiveness

To help overcome the economic crisis

 -   Antonio Bonet, president of the Exporters' Club

The Exporters and Investors Club appeals to the dynamism of Spanish exports as an engine of economic recovery. Proof of this are the exports of goods, which experienced a growth in volume of 6.6% during the first half of 2022. Despite this, the Club stresses the need to continue adapting to a changing environment, marked by an international context of particular uncertainty, where the United States, the world's largest market, has entered into recession, and calls for economic policies that boost international competitiveness.

According to data published by the Secretary of State for Trade, corresponding to the accumulated January-June 2022, Spanish exports of goods increased by 24.8%, with respect to the same period of the previous year, to 190,919.0 million euros. A figure that marks an all-time record for the Spanish foreign sector, surpassing even pre-pandemic levels. This increase was due to a 17.1% increase in prices and a 6.6% increase in volume.

For their part, imports in the first half of 2022 also reached historic records, exceeding 222,000 million euros, representing an increase of 40.7% in value and 17.7% in volume. This has resulted in a trade deficit, also historic, of 31,963.2 million euros. The non-energy trade balance, on the other hand, showed a deficit of 6,069.4 million, compared to a surplus of 4.7 billion in the same period of 2021.

Insufficient to compensate for the growing trade deficit

Although foreign trade indicators show dynamism in the export sector (an increase of 6.6% in volume), the Exporters' Club points out that this is not enough to compensate for the growing trade deficit. It recalls that the context of international instability marked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, as well as cuts in supply chains, gas shortages and rising inflation, among other situations of uncertainty, has considerably affected both international trade and the competitiveness of Spanish companies. "Despite the fact that the international context is very adverse, as in the previous crisis, we believe that the Spanish foreign sector can act as an engine for economic recovery," says Antonio Bonet, president of the Exporters and Investors Club.

However, the president of the Exporters' Club stresses "the need to undertake structural reforms that facilitate an increase in the number of regular exporters". In Spain there are only 59,000 companies that export regularly and of these, only 25,000 sell more than 50,000 euros a year abroad. 

To this end, the Exporters and Investors Club calls for a stable regulatory environment and economic policies that facilitate international competitiveness. "It is essential that structural reforms are undertaken to simplify bureaucracy and the regulatory environment, to facilitate the growth of SMEs, and that the education system trains our young people in the competencies and skills that companies need," says the Club's president, Antonio Bonet. He also points out that the creation of new taxes that affect different sectors such as energy and banking, which increase uncertainty and discourage business investment at a time when what the country needs is precisely the opposite, i.e. to increase business investment in order to gain efficiency and competitiveness.

On a positive note, the growth in exports of goods by Spanish companies in the first half of the year (24.8%) was higher than in neighbouring countries such as Germany (13.3%) or the United Kingdom (16.1%), and even slightly higher than in Italy (22.4%) or France (20.1%), the euro area (22.3%) and the European Union (21.8%).