There is a long and solid tradition of business relationships between Spain and the UK. On a global level, the UK ranks second as regards interest in the Spanish business ecosystem, according to the second study of British interest in the Spanish economy, conducted by Infoempresa.com, a business information web service.
Infoempresa.com analysed the interest shown in Spanish companies by 430,000 foreign users in 2016. Focusing on the prospecting phase, Germany was revealed to show the most interest in doing business with Spain, followed by the UK, which had 12% of worldwide consultations.
Although the UK topped the charts with regard to interest in Spanish businesses in 2015, Infoempresa.com indicated that its drop to second place was not representative of a loss of interest, but rather the result of a substantial increase in German interest, which almost doubled from 7% in 2015 to 13% in 2016.
Business relationships between the UK and Spain moved around €30bn in 2016 – a drop of €10bn compared to 2015, according to official Foreign Trade figures. Nevertheless, the UK continues to remain a key strategic partner for Spain, with each country playing a significant role in their respective balances of trade.
UK interest in Spanish construction and finance
The trade sector generated the most interest among UK professionals in 2016 (representing 20.9% of all consultations), yet the figure was significantly lower than the European trend at 29%.
The other Spanish sectors that inspired most interest in the UK were construction (13.4%); professional activities (12.4% – 3 points above the European average); property (9.5%); and manufacturing (9.3%).
However, when comparing the UK to the rest of the EU countries, British professionals stood out as being most interested in the Spanish finance sector, representing 31.6% of the total of all European consultations of Spanish finance companies. The UK was followed by France with 19.1% of consultations, and Germany with 16.7% of the total number of consultations of Spanish companies in the finance sector.
UK placing its trust in consolidated Spanish companies
The study revealed that the typical company profile generating the most interest among UK professionals was an active Limited Liability Company that had been in operation for more than 10 years. This interest was in line with the European trend.
However, Spanish start-ups (0-5 years) were of particular interest to UK businesses, with 28% of all consultations relating to younger companies. Although 1% lower than the European average, British interest in this type of Spanish company rose 4 percentage points between 2015 and 2016, reflecting greater confidence in young businesses.
The figures and data analysed in this second study confirm that the Spanish business ecosystem is looking healthy on an international level and is continuing to generate broad interest across the EU. When looking to invest or do business in another country, prospecting should be the first step in the process, helping to reduce commercial risk for investors.
 Source DataComex
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Infoempresa.com is an online Spanish business data provider with details of more than 3m companies and their directors. Specialists in collection, analysis and distribution of financial information, we deliver quality information sourced from local company registries as well as other official sources.