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11,000 companies in Catalonia with potential to export are not doing so

A study from Barcelona?s Chamber of Commerce has detected 11,000 companies that could export their products and services but have not done so yet. In addition, 8,000 companies already do it but are not in a consolidated position.

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15 July 2010 12:17 AM

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ACN
Barcelona (CNA).- About 19,000 companies in Catalonia could increase their exportation according to a study presented today by Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce. Concretely, there are 11,000 companies in the industry and service sectors with an untapped export capacity. In addition, 8,000 other companies already sell their products abroad but their position is not consolidated yet. Miquel Valls, the President of Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce, has affirmed that helping these companies is very important as the recovery from the economic crisis will come through external markets. The lack of funding, competitive products and qualified staff are some of the main obstacles they face. Valls has added that “we would already be happy” if even 30% of the companies had begun to export.
The study quantifies 20,400 industrial and service companies that are already undergoing some kind of activity abroad. These companies represent 80% of the Catalan economy’s exportations. The analysis that had been performed before only took industrial companies into account, not service ones. According to one of the studies, in 2007 there were about 13,000 Catalan companies that were exporting their products abroad.

Out of all the exporting companies, 10,290 belong to the industrial sector and 10,118 to the service one. Nevertheless, the largest part of exportations come from the industry sector, as the sales from this sector represent 74% of the total amount of products and services that are exported. Up to 34% of the Catalan companies in the industry sector sell abroad, the large majority (81.8%) do it each year and 15% do it occasionally.

Miquel Valls has stated that the service sector has a long way to go regarding internationalisation. Furthermore there is already a large amount of small and medium-sized companies that have started to export. However, as they are smaller companies, they represent a much smaller volume than the industry. According to the study, 10.3% of the companies in the service sector export. From these, 66.4% do it yearly and 27% only occasionally.

Metallurgic, textile, confection, leather and shoe-making, and agri-food are the industrial activities with a larger number of exporting companies. Regarding services, the majority of companies work in the research and development field, market studies, technical services and law-related activities, as well as company management.

Survival is in the external markets

According to Valls, for 19,000 Catalan companies, internationalisation is an “unquestionable opportunity”. Out of the companies, 11,000 do not export yet. However, Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce considers that they have the potential to do so. 56% of them have not even considered it. Nevertheless, the President of the Chamber considers that the crisis will likely make this figure decrease. He has said that before the fall of the economy there was a large internal demand, which has made companies be able to live comfortably inside the internal market. From 2009 on, more companies have considered exporting. “Companies are starting to think that survival is in the external market” Valls has added.

Valls has affirmed that exports’ growth will be a key factor to consolidate Catalonia as the engine of the Spanish economy. Furthermore, he has explained that in the first months of the year, Catalan companies have been much more dynamic than those of the rest of Spain. They have shown a superior capacity to penetrate into emergent markets.

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  • Miquel Valls, President of Barcelona's Chamber of Commerce presenting the study today

  • Miquel Valls, President of Barcelona's Chamber of Commerce presenting the study today