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Spain’s GDP would grow by 3.5 points with larger firms: economy minister

Luis De Guindos wants to see “EU-sized companies,” saying small businesses are restricting growth

Spanish companies have a problem with size, according to Economy Minister Luis de Guindos. Speaking at an economic forum in the Catalan city of Sitges on Friday, De Guindos said that he is going to present the Cabinet with a report “in the coming days” analyzing the reduced size of many Spanish businesses and what kind of an impact this has on the economy.

Luis De Guindos (l) and Círculo de Economía chief Juan José Brugera.
Luis De Guindos (l) and Círculo de Economía chief Juan José Brugera.

The minister argued that if Spanish firms were of a similar size as the European average, the country’s GDP would “leap forward” by 3.5 percentage points. If the average size of Spanish firms was equivalent to the United Kingdom, the increase would be 7.5 percentage points.

Speaking to a crowd of business-people, economists and representatives of the Catalan regional executive, De Guindos listed some of the consequences of having a corporate fabric made up of much smaller businesses than elsewhere in Europe.

We need to increase the scale of Spanish businesses

Luis De Guindos

These include greater difficulties for internationalizing operations and finding the right “financial structure.” It even creates hurdles to corporate governance, said the minister.

“We need to increase the scale of Spanish businesses,” said De Guindos at the 33rd Meeting of the Círculo de Economía, a Barcelona-based, non-profit think tank.

The Popular Party (PP) official painted an upbeat economic scenario for Spain in which the only dark clouds were those created by “populisms” and their “simple, magical solutions.” De Guindos included the Catalan government’s escalating pro-independence rhetoric in this category.

English version by Susana Urra.

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