BUSINESS REFORM

Cabinet approves draft bill creating “single market” in Spain

Proposed legislation removes regional barriers to trade

The law could add 1.5 billion euros to GDP within 10 years, deputy PM says

The Cabinet on Friday approved a draft bill creating a single market that will allow companies and professionals in Spain to offer their goods and services across the country.

Under the proposed legislation, it will be sufficient for a company that has obtained a license from one of the regional governments to sell goods that comply with technical specifications to do so in the rest of the country.

The government said the bill is based on the concept of mutual confidence between administrations regarding their respective legislation, and mirrors the European Union’s own single market. The proposed law could clash with regional legislation.

Companies have been lobbying the administration to cut tape to remove impediments to setting up new companies. The Chambers of Commerce welcomed the move. “This will serve to relaunch the trade, industrial and productive fabric in Spain and increase competition,” the Chambers said in a statement.

The Chambers said there are currently more than 100,000 rules and regulations relating to business activities in the country, two thirds of which have been issued by the regions.

Announcing the development, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría estimated that the cost savings entailed could add 1.5 billion euros to Spain’s GDP over the next decade.

She said she did not expect the move to cause tensions between the regions.

The bill also calls for all public administrations to share a single electronic database in supervising business activities.

 

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