The German-Spanish Chamber of Commerce (AHK Spain) celebrated its 100th Anniversary 2017, while Germany Trade & Invest sent its first correspondent to Madrid 60 years ago. The two have been at the same address for a long time and the current renovations within the AHK are tending toward it becoming a co-working space. Markets Germany asked Miriam Neubert, head of GTAI Madrid and AHK Spain CEO Walther von Plettenberg what makes the Iberian peninsular country so interesting for Germany.
Mr. von Plettenberg, Spain fell into a deep recession during the global financial crisis, but is now recovering. How is the feeling about the economy at the moment?
Von Plettenberg: Positive. The domestic economy has shown three consecutive years of three percent-plus growth and is expected to grow more moderately but still robustly in 2018 and 2019. Many companies did not survive the recession, but the more competitive ones have managed to export their way out of the crisis. While the large companies have been active in Germany for a long time, more medium-sized companies are also muscling in on the action now. But at only 0.6 percent of all Spanish companies, this group is over four times smaller than in Germany.
Ms. Neubert, which industry in Germany is most interesting to Spanish companies right now?
Neubert: Those industries in which Spain is strong; renewable energies, for example. The energy company Iberdrola has invested €1.4bn in the Wikinger Offshore Windpark, close to the Island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea, and is developing its capacity further. The health industry is also interesting: Grifols, a top producer of plasma-based medicines, has spent €220m buying 35 German plasma-donation centers. The ties in the car industry are traditionally close as Spain is the second-largest car producer in Europe after Germany.