Earlier this month we held our first webinar in collaboration with the Department for International Trade (DIT) of the British Government. Approximately 150 participants tuned in to hear the Rt. Hon. Greg Hands MP, Minister of State of the department, speak about investment, international trade, the commercial relationship between the UK and Spain and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This first online edition of the Meliá Business Breakfasts series also saw the participation of Mr. Michael Charlton, Managing Director & Chief Investment Officer at the DIT, who answered some of the questions that participants had both sent in advance and during the session.
At a time when thoughts are dominated by the impact of COVID-19 in all areas of life, the Minister began by addressing the current situation and expressing his sympathy for Spain, and the impact that the crisis is having on the country:
The Minister went on to speak about the UK-Spain trading relationship, stating that “Spain is the UK’s 7th largest trading partner: a vibrant trading relationship ranging from the automotive sector to food and drink, finance to telecommunications” and said that with regard to services, “the UK is Spain’s number one trading partner, eclipsing the huge revenue generated by British tourism”.
Listen what the Minister had to say about trade between the two countries:
Upon addressing the topic of investment, the Minister highlighted the importance of Spanish companies in the UK such as Ferrovial, Iberdrola, Inditex, Santander, Cellnex, Repsol, Talgo or Dragados, which all have significant operations in the British market.
“It is vital that we work together to keep our markets open and global supply chains intact” stated the Rt Hon Greg Hands MP when speaking about the DIT and how they can support Spanish companies that want to operate in the UK: “we have DIT experts spread across the world working with potential investors to help them invest and grow in the UK. We provide expert advice on everything from opening bank accounts to paying taxes, financial modelling to visas, research and accessing finance”
Last but not least, the Minister addressed the topic of Brexit, asserting that “the EU exit does not mean the UK is closing itself off from Europe – far from it”. He went on to substantiate the British government’s value of the contribution that EU citizens make to life in the UK by saying that “this is why we have made it a priority to safeguard the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, and those of UK nationals living in the EU”
Thank you very much to all of those who joined us for our first Business Breakfast webinar, and especially to Minister Greg Hands for sharing his insight with us! If you missed the session, you can now watch the full video on our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/3448wEJ
Keep an eye on the Events section of our website to find out about the next editions of our online Meliá Business Breakfasts, as well as many other insightful webinars!