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Spain and China, Allies but not Colleagues in Trade

Spain and China, allies in politics but still not colleagues in trade

This post comes to underline the strategy played by Spain on EU’s China policy, a role which has received virtually no attention so far, as well as the major reasons why Spanish e-commerce is potentially attractive for Chinese companies.

Spain´s strategy is based on promoting a political resemblance with China in order to gain a preferential economic treatment, a plot which has led to disparate results for both China and Spain.


A general view of bilateral trade

Even though both countries feel friendliness each other, they do so for different reasons: Spain emphasizes on economic benefits, while China is interested on Spanish political weight on the European stage.

In the last thirty years, Spain has tried to turn China into a key-partner, with mixed results in practice.

  • China is the 5th non-EU destination for Spanish exports
  • China is the 1st non –EU origin of Spanish imports
  • Spain is the 7th trade partner of China in –EU
  • China is the 11th destination of Spanish exports
  • China is the 14th destination for Spanish investment (less than 1% of total)
  • Spain is the 9th destination for Chinese investment in -EU

When looking at the evolution, some positive trends can be underscore:

  • Spain’s exports to China have double to 4 billion in 2014
  • China’s exports to Spain are growing since 2013
  • Both country´s exports are well diversified

After the financial crisis in the West, Spain has redoubled its efforts to trade with China. There is still a huge growth potential for both countries to further develop.

Spain and China, allies in politics but still not colleagues in trade


Political understanding to facilitate Chinese future investment

The difficulties encountered by the Spanish companies in their landing in China contrast with the political temperance shown by Spain in its approach to China. The policy marked by Spanish governments regarding its Chinese counterpart has never shown significant differences: whether the party in power, Spanish policy has always been the same.

Far from stagnating, Golden Visa and Spanish Treasury Bonds are just two examples shown by Spain to attract Chinese investors, as well as the constant reminder of its close ties in Latin America.

Spain and China, allies in politics but still not colleagues in trade


The potential of Spanish E-commerce: an opportunity for Ecommerce business

Comparing to other mature markets, there are still loads of fresh chances to seize in the country: Spain’s ecommerce market as a whole is relatively small.

According to the latest analysis –Ecommerce Europe ´14-, Spain is the largest Ecommerce market in Southern Europe, far from Italy (2nd) and Turkey (3th).

Around 60% of Spanish customers already shop online, spending on average € 900 per year. Moreover, more than the 60% transactions are cross-border: UE, US and China lead the Top-3.

Spain and China, allies in politics but still not colleagues in trade

Its growth potential can be prompted by some aspect anyone thinking on approaching Spanish ecommerce should take into consideration :

  • Improvement in logistics
  • Take an advantage of the lower cost for online marketing
  • Customer acceptance of foreign W-shops
  • Spanish consumers distrust on websites, so offering a secure payment method is a must. Paypal is the favorite of more than half of buyers
  • Spain is the European leader in mobile usage, and keeps growing
  • Spain is the best gateway to test Portugal and Latin American countries

The bilateral relationship between China and Spain is one of our tasks. Thanks to our understanding of the market, in 2 Open we can help you boost your digital business.

Leverage the benefits both countries offer to your company,

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