On April 29th, the Leading Brands of Spain Forum organised the “Why Spanish brands need the Chinese market” conference in conjunction with the EOI – Industrial Organization School. This was a continuation of the presentation given by the leading brands of Spain in Beijing and Shanghai last January.

In his opening speech, the Forum chairman, José Luis Bonet, pointed out that “China is a strategic and priority market for companies in our country”, and we “cannot allow ourselves the luxury of not being present” in a market that will have 600 million consumers within a couple of years.

The conference began with a speech entitled “White cat, black cat?” by Eugeni Bregolat, the former Spanish ambassador to China and current ambassador to Andorra, in which he gave his view on the economic and social situation of China today.

Bregolat pointed out that economic development had led to the “emergence of a new social class, the middle class, which has accumulated capital over the years that is beyond the State control”. In his opinion, “a middle class with an average annual income of between US $ 10,000 and 30,000 has now emerged in China”.

Garrigues partners, Carolina Pina and Albert Collado, also analysed the legal trade mark protection framework for brands investing in China. In his speech, Collado said that while “Industrial protection is neither simple nor effective in China”, the fact that it has joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) means that it has a transparent legal system to regulate foreign and local companies alike”.

After this, Spain’s Economic and Trade Advisor in Beijing moderated a round table where brands like Cola-Cao, Torres, Mango and Real Madrid spoke of their experiences in China.

After lunch, the conference continued with a speech by the former CEO of Panrico in China and Vedanta Ltd. Partner, Federico Caruncho, who spoke of his experience in China, more from the perspective of an independent consultant than entrepreneur.

The conference continued with another round table moderated by the EOI General Manager, Luis Díaz Marcos, which was attended by representatives from Técnicas Reunidas, Irizar, Isofotón and Torres.

The conference –which was well attended-was closed by the Executive Vice-Chairman of ICEX, Ángel Martín Acebes, who spoke of support for the internationalisation of Spanish Brands and Spain’s image in China.

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