MADRID, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- The growing numbers of Chinese students in Spain can help European companies enter the competitive Chinese market, a group of experts agreed at a conference organized by the China Club (Spain) think tank and the Business Institute (IE) here in the Spanish capital.
"China is still full of mysteries for many Western companies," explained Eric Helgo-Schille, vice-president of the Global Alumni and Talent section, during the forum on Tuesday night.
The volume of trade between Spain and China was over 30,000 million U.S. dollars in 2017, making Spain China's sixth most important commercial partner inside the European Union, while China is Spain's largest non-EU trading partner.
This rapid increase in bilateral trade means companies are struggling to find staff with the skills to allow them to work in businesses involving the two countries.
Margaret Chen, founder and honorary President of the China Club (Spain), told Xinhua that there are currently not enough workers in Spain with the qualifications to fill the needs.
"We have to be able to work well to retain these talents for Spain and China and we have to motivate more talented youngsters to come and work for both nations," she explained.
Latest figures show that 8,464 Chinese students studied in Spain in 2017 and Chen believes the current panorama is very favorable for them.
"It is very important for us to offer good conditions, because things have changed. A long time ago people accepted jobs with low wages, but it is much harder these days to attract talent."
"We have to listen to experts who can explain how to get the best educated people working in commerce between Spain and China," said Chen.
Fernando de Zavala, an expert who works for headhunting company Zavala Civitas, said "the demand and the market for executives has been increasing in countries such as Spain, Portugal and China since 2016. However, it has reached a ceiling when it comes to finding executive talent and it is a very competitive market."
De Zavala highlighted the importance for candidates to be able to speak Spanish, Chinese and also English, while Juan Diaz-Andreu, executive director of the MBIT School, believed that future positions will be closely linked to new technologies.
"You have to look for your dream job. You can't accept the first thing that comes along," he added.