Economist tells Peruvian business leaders now is the time to invest in Spain

Lima, Apr 24 (EFE).- Inter-American Development Bank chief economist Jose Juan Ruiz told about 100 Peruvian businessmen Wednesday that "one moves out of all crises" and that now is the time to invest in Spain.

Ruiz, during the "Spain: A Land of Opportunities" forum to present the same-named report, painted an optimistic picture about - and expressed confidence in - the Iberian nation's recovery from the current economic crisis.

At the conclusion of the forum, Ruiz, who is also the head of the IDB's Research Department, told Efe that "at this time Spain can offer to Latin America the markets, the technology, the labor force and the price of assets."

All that, he said, "to convert the European market, and therefore the Spanish one, into the international base for the Latin American companies that are going to begin operating - and who are today already big leading actors - in the global economy."

The forum was opened by the representative of the Spanish Business Council for Competitiveness, or CEC, Javier Hidalgo, who explained the origins of the group that includes the presidents of the most important Spanish companies and produces reports like the current one on the economy, its evolution and outlook.

"The Spanish crisis is not, despite what you may have heard in recent months, in freefall. The Spanish economy from its highest point to date has fallen scarcely 5 percent. The accumulated drop in GDP is 5 percent and it came in the first years of the crisis, between 2008 and 2010," Ruiz said.

"The best time to invest is the time when there are still uncertainties. The moment to invest in Spain and in Europe probably is (now). It won't be five years before the country will once again be in a much more stable situation," Ruiz said.

The CEC, comprising more than a dozen of Spain's leading companies, is mounting a 23-city international road show to disseminate the "Spain: A Land of Opportunities" report.

The competitiveness council forecasts that Spain's economy will grow 0.3 percent in the last three months of 2013 after seven quarters of recession. The recovery will gather strength in 2014, creating the circumstances for job creation, the CEC says.