In Spain, Spaniards are losing economic ground to Chinese in their own back yard. France 24 correspondent Adeline Percept has found Chinese entrepreneurs have been able to see opportunities where others can only see problems.
Chinese entrepreneurs are beating the recession and moving forward while many Spanish workers cling to a reliance on government and unions for subsidies and employment opportunities. Chinese entrepreneurs have moved in and begun the process of creating jobs in Spain. Today, even though only 165,000 Chinese are registered as living in Spain, one in every four new businesses in Spain is Chinese.
Last year, the Spanish Minister for Trade, Industry & Tourism, Miguel Sebastian, met with Chinese dignitaries to discuss developing a closer commercial relationship between the two countries. The Global China Business Meeting was held in the City of Valencia and was also attended by the Regional President of Valencia, the Mayor of the City and the Vice-Chairman of the China Federation of Industrial Economics.
The Minister commented how the Chinese had always been considered good friends to Spain, who currently receive the third largest investment from China in Europe, with the total number of Chinese companies in Spain expected to double by the end of 2013.
As a result of a strengthening relationship between the two countries, Spain expects to welcome more than 1 Million Chinese tourists in 2012.
The increasing number (and affluence) of Chinese residents in Spain has generated a stream of investment in the country's real estate market. Prices have been falling for years and the new investment is creating a much-needed boost to services and merchandise trades associated with these residents' requirements.
SIMA 2012, the international exhibition on real estate to be held later this month in Madrid, will include, for the first time, an area for Chinese investors, with their own language services. The Fair's brochures will be also published in Chinese, providing the more interesting offers available.
Meanwhile, Spain’s unemployment is expected to reach 25.4 percent in 2013, and the government and banks are in the process of negotiating a $120 billion bail out for the country through more stable euro nations that includes harsher austerity measures.
“The recent deterioration in the economic outlook is very bad news for the labor market,” OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said in a statement. “It is imperative that governments use every possible means at their disposal to help job seekers, especially young people, by removing barriers to job creation and investing in their education and skills.”
Meanwhile, Chinese are prospering and gaining economic prominence in Spain, largely bypassing unions and government subsidies and relying instead on more capitalistic ventures and self employment.