I would like to take advantage of this editorial to celebrate the excellent economic and commercial relations between Spain and Luxembourg, which are the result of the daily work carried out by thousands of entrepreneurs and professionals on both sides, supported by the Embassy and a large network of institutions among which the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg stands out.
Just when we thought that the crisis caused by Covid-19 was coming to its end, a period in which Europe has shown exceptional unity and determination by establishing unprecedented common response mechanisms, uncertainty has resurfaced due to the war in Ukraine. The duration and effects of this war are still difficult to foresee.
In this time of uncertainty, Spain and Luxembourg have shown that they are two countries with common views on a very wide range of issues on both the European and international agendas.
The bilateral relations between Spain and Luxembourg have been defined over time by the commitment and determination to establish a framework of cooperation, stability, and transparency. This commitment has ensured that trade relations between the two countries are now in excellent health. Thus, the notable increase in exports of Spanish goods to the Grand Duchy in the last decade stands out. If in 2010 the figure for exports was 165 million euros, ten years later, in 2020, these rose to 415 million euros and to 371 million euros in 2021. Today, Spain exports more, in a more diversified way and with greater added value to Luxembourg.
Also, in recent years there has been a growing trend in Spanish exports of services to Luxembourg, reaching 1,790 million euros in 2020. Spanish imports of services from Luxembourg have also increased, although less steadily, which has allowed the services balance to be in surplus for Spain. This is not only explained by exports in tourism, but also by the growth in the export of financial services.
There have also been significant investment flows in both directions in recent years. Currently, Luxembourg is the seventeenth foreign country that invests the most in our country. Similarly, Spanish investment in Luxembourg has increased extraordinarily in the last decade, from 373 million euros in 2010 to 5,702 million euros in 2020. In this regard, it is important to highlight the increasing presence of Spanish financial companies in the Grand Duchy.
Without wishing to be exhaustive in the presentation of the data, I believe it is necessary to keep them in mind, as they show that the efforts of the public administration and the private sector to promote the internationalisation of the Spanish economy have not been in vain. Today, Spanish companies are more open to internationalisation, more prepared and with a sufficiently capacity to generate greater added value. Not only large companies, but also small and medium-sized enterprises. It is precisely small and medium-sized enterprises that are the focus of the Spanish Government’s strategy. Internationalisation, entrepreneurship, innovation, digitalisation and sustainability are some of the levers or strategic areas around which its main actions are articulated.
And Luxembourg is recognized as a market that offers numerous advantages. Apart from a privileged geographical position that allows access to other central European destinations and the Benelux, the Grand Duchy offers an excellent business climate, no country risk, institutional stability, and moderate economic policies, as well as high purchasing power.
In conclusion, the Luxembourg market represents a great opportunity for SMEs and Spanish entrepreneurs. This is not only because of the potential economic benefits, but also because of the synergies that can be generated by coming into contact with Luxembourg companies. Relations between Spanish and Luxembourg companies must be based on trust and mutual learning: with these objectives well established in daily practice, we will make them increasingly profitable. For all these reasons, I am particularly grateful to the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg for the opportunity to share this editorial together with our constant efforts to achieve a common goal: the improvement of the competitiveness of Spanish companies by committing to a sustainable and inclusive business model.