From this Monday to Wednesday, Madrid becomes the gateway for Latin American businessmen to Europe and for Europeans to Latin America. The Palacio de Cibeles in the Spanish capital hosts the second edition of Madrid Platform, the largest business meeting between Latin America and the Old Continent, in which thousands of companies will participate to share projects and generate investment opportunities. “Spain is the second investing country in Latin America after the United States and the first in the EU”, recalled the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, during the inauguration.
Latin American economies have experienced strong growth in the last two decades, mainly through investments from the United States, Spain and China, as recalled by the president of Madrid Platform, Carlos Morales, also present at the event. “Countries such as Peru, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador and the Central American region have emerged as the main Latin American investors,” he detailed. In fact, the accumulated investment in 2020 reached 42,660 million euros, which makes Latin American companies a fundamental part of the current Spanish business fabric, representing 9.1% of the foreign money received by Spain, he added.
Platform Madrid works as the Tinder of business between Latin American and European companies, according to sources from the organization. Through its large database and the interests of registered companies, it connects businessmen from both sides of the Atlantic. It also organizes round tables on topics of common interest and more general panels on trends. The objective is to serve as a bridge for business on both continents.
The opening ceremony was also attended by the Deputy Mayor of Madrid, Begoña Villacís, and the Secretary General of the Organization of Ibero-American States, Mariano Jabonero, who described this business meeting as an accelerator of opportunities. “We are in the century of cities, which are international subjects. Ibero-America and Spain are shelters for each other”, pointed out the Deputy Mayor. For his part, Jabonero has focused on the presence of the Latino population in the Spanish capital, host of the event: “One in four inhabitants of Madrid was born in America or is the children of Americans.”
“When you think of luxury, you imagine Paris; when you do it in design, Milan comes to mind; for finance it is Frankfurt”, explains Morales. “We wanted Madrid to evoke the idea of a port of entry for Latin America”, he adds to explain the origin of the meeting.
With an eye on small and medium-sized Latin American companies, which in less than three years have entered Spain with more than 2,000 positions, the first edition of Madrid Platform exceeded all expectations: more than 600 companies brought together almost 10,000 attendees from 60 different countries. For this edition, it is expected that 700 firms will be directly involved, with 15,000 participants from 70 countries. Faced with this success, the project opens the door for other business meetings of this type in other European cities that strengthen economic ties between the two continents.
He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.
Andrés Allamand, Ibero-American Secretary General, has emphasized the enormous interest on the part of Latin American companies in landing in Europe through Spain and Portugal. Despite the advantages of sharing the same language, these companies have to face two problems. “In the first place, there is some difficulty in understanding the regulatory frameworks, so everything that can be done to facilitate their understanding is already a first step. In addition, it is difficult for them to find European partners to carry out their ventures”, he warned.
During this event, business conferences and project presentations will be organized on four main themes: innovation, sustainability, emerging companies and agri-food. Likewise, the ecological transition, technology, digital transformation and human rights will also play a relevant role in the spaces for reflection and in the exchange of ideas. The Secretary of State for Digitization, Carmen Artigas, and the President of the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations, Antonio Garamendi, will inaugurate two of the forums scheduled for the first day of this business event.