Experts emphasize potential of Spanish economy for foreign investors

Amsterdam, Apr 3 (EFE).- The Spanish economy, after having undertaken economic and fiscal adjustments, is gaining in competitiveness and has improved its potential for foreign investors, the director of the Business Council for Competitiveness, or CEC, Fernando Casado, emphasized here on Wednesday.

"Spain is a very attractive country for investors," said Casado during the presentation in Amsterdam of the report entitled "Spain, country of opportunities" prepared by CEC experts and with which presentations around the world are being launched with the participation of a number of economists, including Jose Manuel Campa.

The document shows that "Spain is a solid economy and will begin its recovery at the end of this year," the director of the study group comprised of almost 20 big Spanish firms said.

"Spain is dispelling the doubts there were about its economy. The risk premium now is about 350 points, when during the worst moments of the euro crisis it was at 600," Casado told an audience of Dutch businessmen and investors, among others.

The report forecasts an improvement in activity that will allow the Spanish economy to register growth rates in the fourth quarter of this year of 0.3 percent, after seven quarters of recession.

For 2014, it predicts a rise in GDP of 0.8 percent, compared with the 1.4 percent drop expected for 2013, a situation that will allow job growth.

Meanwhile, the former secretary of the state of the economy and professor of Financial Management at Spain's IESE business school, Jose Manuel Campa, emphasized that "the trend in the Spanish economy is changing," referring to the increase in exports registered last year and the impact of the implemented reforms.

In addition, he mentioned the high level of unemployment in the country, currently at 26.3 percent and which, according to figures published on Tuesday by the Employment and Social Security Ministry, fell 0.10 percent (4,979 people) due to an increase in seasonal employment during Holy Week.

"In 2014 we will see the net creation of substantial jobs," said Campa, who added that the current unemployment rate is very high in the international context.

The CEC document emphasizes that the labor market reforms undertaken by Spanish authorities will have an impact in the medium term and that by 2020 the country will have added a million net jobs, the majority of them for skilled workers.