Interview: Spain must brand its image at China International Import Expo, says expert

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-13 15:06:16|Editor: Li Xia
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MADRID, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Spain must aim at branding its image at the China International Import Expo (CIIE) to be held in Shanghai on Nov. 5-10, a Spanish economy and business expert said recently to Xinhua.

This goal is key if the country wants to enter with good conditions in the Asian market, said Guillermo Martinez from the Department of Economy and Business of Casa Asia, an organization under the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

"Building a brand image is essential because it will increase the recognition of Spanish products by the Chinese consumers, who are very well informed," said Martinez.

He stressed that Spain can enhance its advantages which are already competitive, such as agri-food.

"We must identify very well the sectors where we want to create that brand and give a good image of the product," Martinez said.

According to the expert, the fair should also serve to continue improving the market share of Spanish companies in China and better balance the trade between the two countries.

To the expert, trade deficit is "normal," but he said Spanish companies can make efforts to reduce the gap "as Germany did in the past."

"... it is important to see which sectors would fit well on China's economic path towards a model of domestic consumption and focused on the third sector," said Martinez.

The 36 companies selected by Spain for the CIIE will have an exhibition space of around 400 square meters, including companies from food and beverage sectors, fashion and habitat companies and other institutions.

Martinez noted the good moment that both economies are experiencing in the context of bilateral business thanks to the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Bilateral trade has experienced rapid growth in recent years. China is Spain's largest trading partner outside the European Union (EU) and Spain is the sixth largest trade partner of China within the bloc, while the volume of bilateral trade rose from 12 million US dollars 45 years ago to a record of more than 30.94 billion US dollars in 2017.

The environmental sector should also be explored by Spain at the CIIE, the expert noted. "Spain, from my point of view, can help China in the environmental field," he said.

Martinez said that the technological advances that the country is experiencing in urban cooperation, sustainable development, water resources and environmental care, can play a role in China, which is immersed in an urbanization process and a middle-class rise.

Furthermore, he recommended a strategy for medium-sized companies that will go to the CIIE.

"I would tell them to bet on second-tier cities. Of course, Beijing and Shanghai are very attractive, but all the big companies have already arrived there. However, in smaller cities such as Chengdu or Wuhan, there is still a lot of room to grow," Martinez said.