Spanish business leaders move to promote opportunities abroad

Madrid, May 5 (EFE).- Spain's CEOE business confederation has created a corporation - CEOE Internacional - whose aim is to place at the disposal of small and medium businesses the means to do business abroad, something the organization considers necessary to help overcome the country's economic crisis, officials said.

The economic future of Spain is in the hands of the country's businessmen and the opportunities to create wealth come from taking advantage of business opportunities abroad, CEOE Internacional chief Jesus Banegas said in an interview with Efe.

"Either we grow abroad or the future is going to be very sad for many years," Banegas said, adding that internationalization is the only way out for Spain's business environment, where investment and consumption are paralyzed.

CEOE Internacional is an idea developed by Banegas, who said that there are 149 business associations throughout the world similar to the CEOE with which the Spanish entity has or can have "trustworthy dealings" and can provide personalized assistance to Spanish companies.

CEOE Internacional is already carrying out projects in about 20 countries, including the United States, in sectors as diverse as airport operations, biomass, nutrition, metallurgy and municipal management.

The operating model will be the same as that of the Spanish business association in that the companies will come "from their sector or territorial associations" and then will register as members of CEOE Internacional, Banegas said.

Spain has the Foreign Trade Institute, or ICEX, which supports the domestic companies abroad, but the new organization created by CEOE does not intend to interfere with its operations.