The Leading Brands of Spain Association (AMRE) was one of the co-organisers of the First Summit on Internationalisation held on 20 October at the head offices of Mutua Madrileña in Madrid. During the summit, internationalisation was proposed as a vehicle to promote competitiveness in the Spanish economy in order to help companies to overcome the crisis. The summit was organised by AMRE in partnership with the Chambers of Commerce and the Spanish Exporters and Investors Club. During the event, the Minister of Industry, Tourism, and Commerce, Miguel Sebastián, was presented with a list of over a hundred proposals of measures to overcome the economic crisis and to foster a competitive economy. The event was closed by the minister and attended by Secretary of State for Commerce, Silvia Iranzo. On behalf of AMRE, José Luis Bonet delivered one of the opening speeches in which he emphasised that changing Spain’s production model will take a long time and must encompass all companies, including those in traditional sectors. “Ultimately, the aim is not only to sell more or to sell something different, but to sell better. It is therefore important to support the globalisation of Spanish brands and to use their contribution to improve the country's commercial image”, he explained. The chairman of the Council of Chambers of Commerce, Javier Gomez Navarro, and the Chairman of the Spanish Exporters and Investors Club, Balbino Prieto, also delivered opening speeches. Mr Gómez Navarro underscored that “in the past, the government has organised this kind of summit. For the first time it is the companies themselves that are informing the government of their needs and proposing specific measures for improving support for internationalisation and competitiveness in order to withstand the crisis. Proposal for a Government agreement on competitiveness After the welcoming speeches, representatives from the three participating institutions presented the conclusions drawn by the work groups that developed the proposals submitted to the minister. The Managing Director of AMRE, Miguel Otero, participated on behalf of the AMRE. A debate among the companies was then held, moderated by Juan José Zaballa, a member of the Spanish Exporters and Investors Club. During the debate, executives from top Spanish companies gave their views on the points raised in the presentations and on issues affecting internationalisation and competitiveness in general. Among the conclusions drawn, the Chambers of Commerce, the Leading Brands of Spain Association and the Spanish Exporters and Investors Club made good use of the First Summit on Internationalisation to propose the signature of a Government agreement on competitiveness from the standpoint that overcoming the crisis is a shared responsibility of government, business and society in general. They also announced the creation of a Business Committee for Internationalisation to continue to develop the proposed measures and to formulate new ones. Minister Miguel Sebastián was receptive to the suggestions made and promised to study them with the Ministry and to work together with all three organisations. He specifically agreed with “the importance of the nation brand as a factor for enhancing the competitiveness of the Spanish economy”, stating that this should even be promoted within the domestic market. The Minister also spoke of the collaboration with the Leading Brands of Spain Association through the Spanish Ambassador Brand and Spain Image Plan and the current 'Made in / by Spain' in the USA. He also mentioned the need for ICEX to support Spanish brands and announced a relaxation of criteria for projects to be legible to receive Cofides funding, extending the percentage of funding for intangible resources by up to 70%. The Summit on Internationalisation, which is to be an annual event, was attended by over 600 representatives from business and government, clearly demonstrating the interest that Spanish companies have in international growth. Videonoticia sobre la I Cumbre de Internacionalización en la web de Vnews

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