Spain's leadership and reputation in a world full of uncertainty
José Manuel García-Margallo Marfil, Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros and José Luis Bonet
On 20 February 2017, the Rafael del Pino Foundation organised the dialogue "Spain's leadership and reputation in a world full of uncertainty". Speakers at the event included: José Manuel García-Margallo Marfil, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Government of Spain; Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros, Government High Commissioner for Marca España; José Luis Bonet, President of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce; and Aurea Moltó, Deputy Director of Foreign Policy and Director of politicaexterior.com (moderator).
José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil is a Spanish politician, member of the Partido Popular. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Government of Spain from 22 December 2011 until 4 November 2016, although from 20 December 2015 he was in the capacity of acting Minister.He was previously a Member of the European Parliament since 1994, where he held the position of Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs since 1999.1 He has also been decorated with the Grand Cross of Civil Merit (1982) and the Order of Constitutional Merit (1983).
Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros y Bernaldo de Quirós holds a degree in Law and Business Management; Member of the Cuerpo Superior de Técnicos Comerciales y Economistas del Estado. He has been Vice-President and Commercial Director of INI, Commercial Attaché in Chicago, Chairman of Iberia, Aviaco, González Byass, Mercedes Benz, Fraternidad Muprespa, ANFAC, Círculo de Empresarios, Director of Acciona, Schindler and Inditex (where he was also Vice-Chairman); Lecturer and writer in 2013 published Editorial Deusto "Cosas que me enseñó la vida a través de la empresa"; High Commissioner of the Government for Marca España since 2 July 2012. (Independent Trustee)
José Luis Bonet holds a PhD in Law with distinction "Cum Laude" from the University of Barcelona and was, for 49 years, professor of Political Economy and Public Finance at the Faculty of Law of the University of Barcelona.in parallel, in the business world, since his appointment in 1966 as commercial director of the company Freixenet, Bonet has been directly involved in the growth and expansion of this family business until he became president of the group in 1999, a position he continues to hold. Bonet currently chairs the Board of Directors of the Fira Internacional de Barcelona and is president of the Leading Brands of Spain Forum, and since November 2014 he has been president of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, a public law corporation whose purpose is to represent, promote and defend the general interests of companies.
Áurea Moltó is deputy director of Foreign Policy and director of politicaexterior.com //www.politicaexterior.com/. She worked as a journalist in the international area of Agencia EFE and Grupo Santillana before joining Economía Exterior as editor-in-chief in 1999. She holds a degree in Information Sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid and a master's degree in Publishing and Publishing Business from Grupo Santillana-University of Salamanca. She completed postgraduate studies on Contemporary Latin America at the Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset. In 2009 he received a grant from the Fundación Carolina to work as a senior visiting fellow at The Inter-American Dialogue (Washington DC), the leading US think-tank specialising in analysis, communication and the exchange of ideas in the Western Hemisphere. Since then, he has been a regular contributor to Latin American Advisor. He is a member of the Spanish Leadership Network of the Rafael del Pino Foundation, a network for dialogue on the major issues affecting Spain's international projection.
On 20 February 2017, the Rafael del Pino Foundation organised a debate on Spain's reputation in a world full of uncertainty, with the participation of José Manuel García-Margallo, former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros, High Commissioner for Marca España; and José Luis Bonet, President of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and of the Freixenet Group. When asked about the reputational effect of the Spanish crisis on our companies and institutions, García-Margallo replied that, in 2011, the damage was very significant, but it was temporary. The drying up of globalisation had a lot to do with it, because globalisation had brought with it the fear of losing one's job, losing purchasing power and losing cultural identity, which led to a focus on what creates fear. Hence the rise of populism. Now, on the other hand, Spain has a stable government, the former minister continued, the great imbalances in the economy are over, and Spanish companies are doing very well all over the world. What we need, he said, is to believe in ourselves as much or more than they believe in us abroad. In the same vein, Bonet pointed out that in Spain there are 500 multinationals that are leading the way, another 5,000 that are making the journey, and SMEs are now saying that they want to go abroad no matter what. This internationalisation of our companies is a reason for optimism because we are changing the production model. For his part, Espinosa de los Monteros highlighted the change of opinion of the major investment banks towards Spain. During the crisis, the top 30 recommended selling; today, of the top 28, 25 recommend buying, two recommend holding and only one recommends selling. He also pointed out that companies made a virtue out of necessity and reacted to the crisis by internationalising. On the question of whether the economic crisis has been overcome and how the new scenario is affecting us, Espinosa de los Monteros indicated that the change has been profound and so has the perception of Spain. The past economic situation was like a veil that did not allow us to see other things about our country. Spain, he said, is a country that offers opportunities, that has talent that manifests itself in all aspects of life. With the change in the situation, Spain began to be recognised as having a specific weight in the world. Now, with Trump, there is an opportunity to play an important role with Latin America and Europe. Bonet, for his part, highlighted the importance of public-private collaboration in this process of internationalisation and pointed out that the pending issue now is to increase added value. Finally, García-Margallo pointed out that Spain needs strategic alliances with the EU and the United States, and affirmed that we have much to contribute in Latin America, the Maghreb and the Middle East.
The Rafael del Pino Foundation is not responsible for the comments, opinions or statements made by the people who participate in its activities and which are expressed as a result of their inalienable right to freedom of expression and under their sole responsibility. The contents included in the summary of this conference, written for the Rafael del Pino Foundation by Professor Emilio González, are the result of the debates held at the meeting held for this purpose at the Foundation and are the responsibility of the authors.
The Rafael del Pino Foundation is not responsible for any comments, opinions or statements made by third parties. In this respect, the FRP is not obliged to monitor the views expressed by such third parties who participate in its activities and which are expressed as a result of their inalienable right to freedom of expression and under their own responsibility. The contents included in the summary of this conference, written for the Rafael del Pino Foundation by Professor Emilio J. González, are the result of the discussions that took place during the conference organised for this purpose at the Foundation and are the sole responsibility of its authors.