The IMEX-Madrid meeting has served to promote international business and investments of Spanish companies in various markets with great potential, such as the African

Business opportunities are outside of Spain in a 98 %

photo_camera José Terreros, Director of IMEX - PHOTO/ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ

José Terreros, director of IMEX, has taken stock of the XXII Edition of the IMEX-Madrid meeting before the Atalayar microphones. Finance, foreign trade and geopolitics are the keys.


Success, one more year, the participants, the topics, the businesses that are being done, what balance can we make of these three days of IMEX 2024?

Very positive, after the fair is over, we can say that we have exceeded the figures of the previous editions, specifically of the last edition, after recovering the presence, which is very good. From IMEX, which continues to be an international business fair where people come to see what businesses they can do abroad, we have detected a professionalization of the visitor, which, the truth is, makes us very proud.

We continue to have the same support as in past editions, both from the City Council of Madrid, where we are in this formidable space of the Crystal Gallery, also from the CEOE, the Chamber of Commerce of Spain, the Community of Madrid, and other sponsors such as CaixaBank or DHL, the Official Credit Institute itself, which have somehow also given us enough and very necessary coverage for, somehow, to attend here at IMEX or for all these things to happen, which in the end is to increase the business of our companies a little.

Fernando Salazar, presidente de CESCE (izqda) y José Terreros, director de IMEX - PHOTO/ATALAYAR
Fernando Salazar, president of CESCE (left) and José Terreros, director of IMEX - PHOTO/ATALAYAR

We need more knowledge, real data of the possibilities, the mechanisms, the aids, the springs that any entrepreneur can have when considering his business outside Spain, because right now in the world there are times that the way out is out, but you can't leave in any way, you need knowledge and advice.

Of course, the business opportunities are 98% outside of Spain, which is what we say those international trade opportunities are.

It is true that the first thing is to know about these lines of internationalization, I have it recently because the Official Credit Institute has just given a conference and distributed 40,000 million euros, especially to SMEs, the largest number of operations and policies that the ICO grants through Spanish financial institutions. Or logistical issues, such as after an operation, opening a new market, how I transport my merchandise, or the whole tooling issue, at such a momentous moment as this, in all those costs of the supply chain, new emerging markets that are also presented here at IMEX, with this figure of 63 commercial experts, that is, 63 countries represented, on 84 agendas.

Ponentes de la mesa redonda "Instrumentos financieros de apoyo apara la internacionalización empresarial" - PHOTO/ATALAYAR
Speakers at the round table "Financial support instruments for business internationalisation" - PHOTO/ATALAYAR

We have seen the stands of Atalayar, the Chamber of Tarragona, Angola, Congo, the Regional Investment Center of Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima and the Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Tangier, with an intensity and a very important activity.

Yes, that's right. This year we have had four outstanding themes, trunks. One of them is Impulso Africa, which we have been doing for two years. This is the third year that we have held the Impulso Africa edition, therefore, we have representation from numerous African countries, with a stand of four or five of them. We also have the rest of the country representatives, and it is estimated that more than 2,000 meetings have been arranged with the representatives of these 63 countries.

In addition, three other outstanding contents this year have been the topic of artificial intelligence applied to business growth, not only in internationalization, but in the growth of companies, and that of the agri-food sector, which is very important, with that almost 14% contribution to GDP, agri-food and beverages, which is also important.

Seasoned with the logistics theme, the importance of ports in internationalization and business growth.

Intoning a little the mea culpa, well, we do what we can from Atalayar, but would it be necessary a greater and better communication by the media when it comes to supporting a sector such as the export sector, which right now, and for some years, is supporting, along with consumption, the Spanish economy? To publicize the facilities, legal certainty, the conditions that these types of countries have, the opportunities, and we also need more information and communication.

I totally agree. I remember when IMEX started, this is the 22nd edition, that talking about international business, foreign trade, was like preaching in the desert. That has changed a lot, but what has not changed is the need to have correct communication, that professionals like Medio Atalayar, which has been in the market for 11 years, are necessary to give all that information to make decisions, in addition to the rigor that the company needs. Very important.

Ana Cebrián, directora adjunta del departamento de Internacionalización de Cofides (dcha) y José Terreros - PHOTO/ATALAYAR
Ana Cebrián, deputy director of the Cofides Internationalisation Department (right) and José Terreros - PHOTO/ATALAYAR

It should be said, "Hey, it's not about you taking a plane ticket and going anywhere to see what's there." At IMEX, how there are institutions, organizations, that will raise and help, they will guide and ensure that the experience has all the possible elements to be positive.

Let's say that the tools, in fact, are there, the tools that an entrepreneur should have when going abroad and, if I may, it is the slogan that we have had at IMEX for so many years, “Hey, visit IMEX and travel to 63 countries, travel to 63 countries without leaving Madrid”. That is to say, take a taxi from the other side of the Castellana or a plane to come from Barcelona to IMEX and get to know all those business opportunities, not only of markets, but of all that we said before, of ICO lines, of CESTE, of COFIDES, financial, of the whole logistical issue, very important, that we also have it here to be able to do a good business abroad.

And financing, banks such as CaixaBank or Sabadell, other types of opportunities. And, above all, because that is in that economic activity that will be able to consolidate a company and create jobs. In addition, in Africa, where beyond migration, which is a worrying phenomenon, there are new generations with a lot of encouragement, with a lot of concern for getting a good education.

I totally agree. In other words, the focus is on Africa; the third Africa Plan has already been carried out by the Government of Spain. Africa is a very present continent and it is true that there are now coverages that conventional financial institutions cannot cover, but we also have a good part of our administrations that reach there where they cannot reach.

As stated in a round table at the opening of the IMEX, we had present there all the funds that are available to the company from the State Secretariat of Commerce, the FIEM funds, the international ICO funds, the Spanish Credit Insurance Company, and COFIDES itself, which is also the one that helps you to settle abroad. We are talking about that your partner is the Government of Spain. I do not know what better partner we can find above those financial institutions.