Order of countries where most Britons live in EU countries. Source: BBC
As it is observed in the graph, Spain is the main destination for British citizens among the countries of the EU with an estimated considerable figure of 310.000 people living in the Mediterranean country. However, the uncertainty regarding the outcome of the Brexit, has not only become the crucial concern for many of these people but has also had demographic effects on the British population in Spain, leading to a fall of 157.107 permanent British residents. The main distresses of British people in Spain have to do with; free healthcare agreements and access to pensions which possibly would be abolished; nevertheless, there is a potentially vital consequence to be considered in this process- the right to remain in the country. Spain does not allow the double nationality which would mean Britons would have to renounce to the UK passport while ‘third country’ nationals must prove an annual income of 26.000€, which could have major effects for pensioners. Moreover, in the recently created website by the Spanish government regarding Brexit effects on citizens, it clearly warned that key companies such as Iberia or British Airways could lose their right to establish flight connections between both countries making life considerably more difficult for both British and Spanish citizens.
Effects on Spanish economy
The foreign minister Josep Borell explicitly declared recently that a no-deal Brexit would be ‘a disaster for everyone’ which is not far from what the figures suggest. In an extremely compact summary; the UK is the 5th country with highest volume of investment in the country, in 2016 Spain gained a total of 18.696€ million from exports to the UK, 16.9 million British tourists visited Spain that same year, the British are the people who most houses bought in Spain accounting for 10.200 in 2016 which is the 19% of houses purchased by foreigners and in the agrarian sector the exit of the second biggest market in the Union will have effects on the Spanish farming sector. The aforementioned points can have increasingly adverse outcomes due to the foreseen plummeting of the Pound or simply because of the rise of obstacles for Britons to be able to purchase abroad.
 BBC. 2019. ‘Brexit: How would no deal affect UK citizens in the EU?’. Written by Peter Laurence. Last modification the 14th of January 2019. Available online (link) [Last accessed: 14.02.2019]
 El País. 2018. ‘El repliegue de los británicos de España’. Written by Ignacio Zafra. Last modification the 7th of March 2017. Available online (link) [Last accessed: 14.02.2019]
 BBC. 2019. ‘Brexit: How would no deal affect UK citizens in the EU?’. Written by Peter Laurence. Last modification the 14th of January 2019. Available online (link)
 El País. 2018. ‘Spanish government launches website to warn about effects of Brexit’. Written by Lucía Abellán. Last modification the 15th of January 2019. Available online (link)
 El Expansión. 2017. ‘Los grandes peligros del Brexit para España en diez puntos’. Written by Juanma Lamet. Last modification the 30th of March 2017.Available online (link)
Football, apart from being the most popular sport and practically a religion for a considerable amount of the Spanish population, is also a huge business to be taken into account in the southern European country’s economy. According to the report in 2017 of the Business School OBM, of every 100€ generated in the Spanish economy, 2 of such are generated by the ‘La Liga’ which is the first tier of Spanish football while football itself grows at a higher pace than the national economy. Moreover, it adds that more than 1% of the national GDP is composed by football income and that out of 1000 people who work in Spain, 7 of them do so in a job related to football. Furthermore, far from backing down, football is continuously growing as a popular sport which is portrayed in tangible business figures. During the last season (2017/2018) the Spanish Hacienda– the national tax offices- reached a record tax revenue accounting for 1.227 million euros.
Real Madrid and FC Barcelona
If Spanish football is to be mentioned, it is impossible not to focus on their two main teams of the two biggest cities in the country. Nevertheless, they are not only the two highest earners among Spanish football clubs, but they are currently the two teams with the highest revenues in the world. Real Madrid and FC Barcelona annually account 750’9M and 690’4M respectively leaving historical teams such as Manchester United or Bayern Munich behind.
Source: Compilation based on the bibliographical sources
As to understand at what level these Spanish giants stand in the national economic sphere, firstly it must be mentioned that they respectively occupy the 195th and the 217th position in the National ranking of Spanish enterprises by annual income at a similar level- as it can be appreciated in the graph- of well-known companies such as Danone S.A., the Catalan beer company S.A. Damm or Siemens S.A.
The small scale
On the smaller scale, for many cities and towns in Spain, being in the first or second division is extremely relevant for the football clubs and therefore, for all the employed people related to such clubs and other economic sectors. It is estimated that when the historical club Real Zaragoza relegated to the second division, the club accounted a loss of 20.6 million due to the loss of TV income which led to a substantial decrease of salaries in the club as well as a decrease of tourism in the city due to the increasing irrelevance of the club which has repercussions in many sectors of the city’s economy such as the catering sector.
 Online Business School. 2017. ‘El negocio del fútbol profesional en la economía española’. Last modification the 22nd of May 2017. Available online (link)
 Business Insider. 2018. ‘Hacienda logra el récord de recaudación con el fútbol: 1.227 millones de euros’. Written by Pavel Ramírez. Last modification the 6th of August 2018. Available online (link)
 Deloitte. 2019. ‘Football Money League’. Bullseye. Last modification in January 2019. Available online (link)
 El Economista. 2019. ‘Ranking Nacional de Empresas por Facturación’. Last modification the 4th of February 2019. Available online (link)
 El Economista. 2014. ‘El coste de bajar a Segunda División: así afecta a las ciudades y a su economía’. Last modification the 12th of May 2014. Available online (link)
The shift and restructuring of the balance of power in the Latin American region has as much to do with the introverted foreign policy of Donald Trump as the Chinese reaction to pounce on this opportunity and turn into the second commercial partner of the region.
Despite Donald Trump’s recent insistence that the ‘America first’ is not strictly an ‘America alone’ policy, the reality is that the American president has insulted Mexico, El Salvador and Haiti discouraging investment in the region and with talks of protectionism; while offers Latin America a strategy of mutual benefit and shared gain which hitherto has been portrayed in considerably less demanding loans than any IMF or American ones which makes them an attractive options for Latin American countries. Moreover, the Asian giant has also pushed for regional agreements and cooperation in addition to bilateral free trade agreements. Firstly; the Chinese government published the first official policy paper on Latin America and the Caribbean in 2008, it also created the China-CELAC forum in 2014 as well as resuming conversation with Mercosur after 14 years of silence in their effort to enhance their influence on the region. Furthermore, China has free trade agreements with three countries of the region which are Chile, Peru and Costa Rica which were signed in 2006 the former and the other two in 2010; making their economies very dependent on Chinese investment.
In spite of this progressive shift of main commercial partner of the region, the centre-periphery pattern among countries of the former remains being identical. Governments in the region fear their countries will be condemned to the role of providing agricultural and mining raw materials, and rightly so, as the 73% of exportation from Latin American countries to China has been raw materials and commodities while the 91% of the Chinese exportations to the region have been manufactured products; which enables China to extract added value.
With this pattern of growing influence of China in the region, will the US be ousted out of its traditional sphere of influence by the Asian giant?
Concerning foreign trade data:
About the author:
Josu Mikel Kelly Iturriaga will complete his bachelor’s degree in International Relations at the University of Deusto in June 2019. While studying his degree, he developed a strong interest in international business, global commerce, and sustainability. Born in London but currently living in Bilbao, Josu is particularly interested in UK-Spain relations and trade.
 El Universal (2018) ‘China se convierte en el segundo mayor socio comercial de América Latina’. Last modification the 29th of November 2018. Available online (link) [Last accessed: 28.01.2018]
 The Economist (2018) ‘China moves into Latin America’. Last modification the 3rd of February 2018. Available online (link) [Last accessed: 28.01.2018]
 Aguilera-Castillo, Andrés and Barragán, Juan. 2018. ‘China’s Policy Paper on Latin America and the Caribbean: Ten Years After’. Last modification the 5th of November 2018. Available online (link) [Last accessed: 28.01.2018]
 MERCOSUR (2018) ‘Diálogo MERCOSUR – China’. Last modification the 26th of October 2018.Available online (link) [Last accessed: 28.01.2018]
 Lafargue, Francois (2018) ‘China’s presence in Latin America’. China Perspectives. Available online (link) [Last accessed: 28.01.2018]
Business competitiveness is a goal that any company has to reach to stay in the market. That is, a company remains for a long period of time in the market if it is competitive with the rest of companies. When competitive companies come to mind, we think exclusively of large companies, leaving aside medium or small companies (SMEs). SMEs in Spain constitute the majority of the Spanish business fabric. In 2017, 99.87% of the companies, equivalent to 3,274,924 productive units, were made up of SMEs. This situation is not different when we address the issue of transport and logistics operators. Therefore, can only multinationals be competitive?
Obtaining new customers is always a very complex task, therefore, each company must know how to sell its brand. But what is it what attracts the future customer the most? Here we will detail which are the great characteristics that differentiate the multinationals, and the small and medium companies in the logistics field.
Before digging into the differences between both types of companies, we must establish a series of premises. First, there are three types of transport: land (by road and rail), sea and air. This article only focuses on road transport. Second, within the road transport, in turn, can make various distinctions: courier, parcel, groupage, full loads, container ships, special transport and transport of dangerous goods. And, third, we must clarify that this blog will revolve around a specific truck model: the trailers that have a dimension of 13.6 meters and can carry up to a weight of 24 tons.
We all know what large multinationals can offer because their large volume means they can easily comply with the objectives and needs established by customers. This is a matter of great importance because most of them want to forget about the problems that can generate their loads and only need that their merchandise is delivered within the established deadlines. In addition to this valuable benefit, the large volume of transport that these companies have means that they can lower prices and, therefore, be much more competitive.
In contrast to large multinationals, there are small and medium-sized enterprises with limited resources. Being smaller does not necessarily mean worse, and there are several benefits these companies can offer:
-They have close contact with the customer
-They usually perform an excellent customer care service
-They are great at tracking customer routes
On the other hand, some of the disadvantages we identify are the following:
-They set higher prices
-They have a lower number of trucks and collaborators
To illustrate all this, let’s set an example to see both arguments. The customer Z must choose a provider that covers the route Valencia – Madrid since he must make 200 trips between the months of January to March. Company X has 100 trucks of its own plus 50 employees to cover the route Valencia – Madrid. So they can set a price per full trailer of 340 euros. However, company Y has 15 own trucks and 10 collaborators to cover the same route. Having not so many resources, Company Y must increase the price to 380 euros, in order to compete with Company X and be able to get more collaborators.
What can Dos Aguas Consulting do for you?
Dos Aguas Consulting can help you with our knowledge of the Spanish market and business ecosystem. In our work as a company specialized in advising and supporting international companies that want to invest in Spain, we can help you find clients and make a profitable business in the country. Get in touch with us, our trade advisors will help you!
Instant payments: you may or may not have heard of it, but if you haven’t, you will supposedly notice it in the course of next year. Instant payments is the next initiative of Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) development of the European Central Bank, installed to significantly increase the speed at which (cross-border) payments are made and received, and consequently harmonize payments within the European Union [4,5]. Currently, it takes around one business day for a payment to reach its beneficiary, and instant payments will enable payments to be transferred in real time, 24 hours a day, all 365 days of a year. The transferred funds will be available for use of the beneficiary instantly. Instant payments are going to impact the way we do business in Europe, and each European country has the responsibility to prepare its payment infrastructure in such a way that it will be able to perform these payments ‘instantly’ . What exactly needs to happen for this, and what are the developments in Spain specifically? Moreover, how do we expect instant payments to change the way business is conducted in Spain?
Instant payments: what it is
The Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB) defined instant payments as “electronic retail payment solutions available 24/7/365, with a maximum limit of 15,000 euros, resulting in the (close-to-) immediate interbank clearing of the transaction and crediting of the payee’s account with confirmation to the payer, within seconds of payment initiation”.  What exactly does this mean? It means that consumers can make a simple person-2-person mobile payment when buying, for example, a second-hand product at a fair . Also, future personal use of smart devices payments will most likely be better enabled by instant payments. On the business side, cash flow management and e-invoicing or e-billing is made more efficient, which leads to an optimized business. Transferring money will no longer defer a business transaction, and cross-border business within the European Union, as well as business within home-countries, will be stimulated. Although instant payments is partially already available in a few European countries (including Sweden, Denmark and Norway), it will be available in the entire EU from January 2019 onwards .
Instant payments: how it works
Continuing the statement of the ERPB: “the instant payment is irrespective of the underlying payment instrument used (credit transfer, direct debit or payment card) and of the underlying arrangements for clearing (whether bilateral interbank clearing or clearing via infrastructures) and settlement (e.g. with guarantees or in real time) that make this possible”.  As mentioned briefly before, and as emphasized by this quote of the ERPB, underlying arrangements are what enable a payment to be performed instantly. These arrangements must be made by each of the banks of all Member States, so that all payments can be made ‘instantly’, regardless of the bank of the payer or the payee. This ‘instant transaction’ is made possible on the basis of trust within the SEPA, and the obligation for each bank to provide the necessary infrastructure (“SCT Inst”, the so called “scheme” for payments) and liquidity to perform a certain amount and size of payments on the spot . What is more, banks already have to follow the latest regulations for open banking (Payment Service Directive 2, PSD2), in order for Payment Service Providers (PSPs) to be included in instant payments. As it is the bank’s own responsibility to prepare itself for instant payments, competition is fierce: if a bank is not able to participate in the scheme, it will most likely lose a lot of business within a few years .
How Spain is contributing to European instant payments?
Following the above information, Spanish banks have their own responsibility to make instant payments happen. According to several articles, as well as statistics by the Dutch Payments Association (BVN, Betaal Vereniging Nederland), Spanish banks are part of the leading group within the instant payments scheme installation. The below image shows that 72% of Spanish banks are already complying to the European instant payment requirements, which is one of the top percentages of the Member States.
Source: Dutch Payment Association 
The fact that Spain is an early adaptor can come somewhat as a surprise, considering the country’s slow adaption to e-commerce and online payments . However, it shows that the Spanish government and Central Bank recognized the importance of following the SEPA developments when it came to instant payments, in order to not lack behind compared to the rest of Europe. They succeeded: with 86 Payment Service Providers (PSPs) on board, Spain is one of the most advanced of the eight European countries who already participate in the instant payment scheme . In her publicly shared interview, Caixa bank’s Beatriz Kissler, who is also the EPC Scheme Management Board member who represents the Spanish banks, says that “the Spanish banking community understood that the deployment of [instant payments] was critical if banks wanted to play a relevant role in shaping the future of financial services” which resulted in the nation’s leading position, and advised other countries to look at Spain as an “example on how to implement the instant payment scheme”.  In Spain, the most relevant banks that steer the country towards total implementation of the instant payments scheme are CaixaBank, Iberpay, BBVA, Sabadell and Santander. 
How instant payments will affect doing business in Spain
If you are a company, doing business in Spain or with Spanish companies, instant payments will affect your business in various ways. An overview of the benefits of sending and receiving payments instantly, 24/7/365, as made by the European Central Bank  is listed here.
Instant payments will lead to:
Improvement of cash flow and process of payment reconciliation
Increase in efficiency of e-invoicing and e-billing
Optimization working capital management and minimization of need for external financing
Reduction of late payments and speed up the payment of invoices
Improvement of e-commerce, with goods/services released against concomitant payment, thus decreasing the financial risk
Speed up check-out processes at a physical point-of-sale
Increase in efficiency of and integrate tax, social insurance or other government-related payments
Which, overall, will improve the efficiency of doing business and increase the number of small companies that can participate in the economy, as they are no longer limited by funds.  Furthermore, it is generally good to know that instant payments will make your life as a business in Spain (and in Europe) slightly easier.
If you are a Payment Service Provider (PSP), interested in joining the open banking business, many opportunities arise when looking at Spain as opposed to other European countries. As the “SCT Inst” scheme is well integrated in most of the Spanish large banks’ ways of operating, you will find it fruitful to join the financial service world in Spain. For more information about opportunities as a PSP (or business) in Spain, please reach out to the Dos Aguas Consulting team and we will be happy to assist you further.
 European Payments Council (28 November 2017), A very early adopter of the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer scheme tells us about the Spanish experience, Available Online [last accessed: 08.12.2018]
The G20 annual summit brought the world leaders together on Friday, November 31, and Saturday, December, 1 in Buenos Aires (Argentina).
The central axes of this international event were trade and climate change. One of the main challenges of the G20 Leadership Summit has been “to achieve a more consensual dialogue” on international trade when protectionism is increasing.
Before we delve into this year’s meeting, let’s find out a bit more about the G20:
Origin and background of the Group of 20
The G20 began as a forum of finance ministers and Central bank presidents, being a result of the Asian Financial crisis. Its creation dates back to September 25, 1999, at a meeting of Ministers of Finance of the G7.
2008 was an important year for this group due to the “Heads of State” met for the first time in Washington. In this summit of G20 leaders, Western countries asked for assistance to countries with emerging markets. As an example, China had a large budget and commercial surplus, and therefore could avoid the global depression. Thus, it was since the Washington summit in November 2008 and, also since the Pittsburgh Summit, when the G20 became the central instrument in the design and implementation of the multilateral response to the Great Recession. Moreover, since that moment, the format of the summit changed, not only with the participation of the “Heads of State”, but also with representatives from United Nations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Financial Stability Forum.
The G20 meets once a year and works at various levels, being the highest level the G20 leaders meeting at the annual summit. In addition, regular meetings are held by the G20 finance ministers, the central bank governors, and the Sherpas (this is the denomination received by the representatives of the “Heads of State” who meet regularly for the negotiation of the agenda, the analysis of the subjects and the documents of results).
As a whole, the members of the G20 represent 85% of the global gross product, two-thirds of the world population and 75 % of the international trade.What is new in trade and investment?
The issues relating to trade and investment are addressed in the G20 Trade and Investment Working Group (TIWG), with the aim of strengthening the G20 cooperation in trade and investment. Currently, the primary objective is to find an inclusive trading system that contributes to a fair and a sustainable development.
The three new thematic areas are agri-food global value chains; the New Industrial Revolution; and the dialog of the G20 on current developments in international trade. Special emphasis is also made on the particular situation of the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, developing countries and women.
What was decided at the Summit in Argentina?
Certain agreements and positions on trade have been reached during the Summit of the G20, as well as an agreement about the need to modernize the World Trade Organization (hereinafter referred to as WTO). Another element that was discussed was the need to invest in infrastructure that it is resistant to the effects of climate change and natural disasters. According to the final declaration titled “Building consensus for fair and sustainable development” the WTO does not meet these goals and as a consequence there is a commitment to meet them in the near future. The Declaration establishes that the “International trade and investment are important engines of growth, productivity, innovation, job creation and development. We recognize the contribution that the multilateral trading system has made to that end. The system is currently falling short of its objectives and there is room for improvement. We therefore support the necessary reform of the WTO to improve its functioning”. 
Another element that is emphasized in the declaration is the digitalization in the trade and the economy. In fact, it consolidates the need to continue working on artificial intelligence (AI), emerging technologies and new platforms of business. From that text we would like to stress the following extract: “To maximize the benefits of digitalization and emerging technologies for innovative growth and productivity, we will promote measures to boost micro, small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs, bridge the digital gender divide and further digital inclusion, support consumer protection, and improve digital government, digital infrastructure and measurement of the digital economy […]”.
The Summit concluded that there is a large consensus on the idea that international trade and investment are important regarding growth, productivity, innovation, the creation of employment and development. However, commercial relations between some of the participating countries are not at their best. Lets remember here the trade wars between the United States and China, which do not facilitate international trade.
From Dos Aguas Consulting, we work to inform and offer analysis on the events of international trade that may be of your interest. We are delighted to read your comments and suggestions. Don’t forget to subscribe!
 Nancy Alexander (2011) Introducción al G20, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, page: 1. Available online (link) [Last accessed: 5.12.2018]
 Jorge Eduardo Navarrete (2012) Los otros 12: rol de los países energentes en el G20, at Günther Maihold, El G-20 y el nuevo orden internacional, Los cuadernos de la cátedra Humboldt de El colegio de México, page: 13.
 Nancy Alexander (2011) Introducción al G20, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, page: 3. Available online (link) [Last accessed: 5.12.2018]
 G-20 (2018) What is the G-20? Available online (link) [Last accessed: 5.12.2018]
 G-20 (2018) Trade and Investment. Available online (link) [Last accessed: 5.12.2018]
 G-20 (2018) G20 Leaders’ declaration. Building consensus for fair and sustainable development, paragraph 27. Available online (link) Last accessed: 5.12.2018]
 G-20 (2018) G20 Leaders’ declaration. Building consensus for fair and sustainable development, paragraph 9. Available online (link) Last accessed: 5.12.2018]
Black Friday is a commercial formula imported from the United States that inaugurates the Christmas shopping season. It is celebrated one day after “Thanksgiving”, that is to say, the fourth Friday of November. There is no unanimity on the origin of its denomination, why Black Friday? For some people, the reason is that this day refers to the time when the trades red numbers become black. On the other hand, others attribute the “black” qualifier to its use on November 19, 1975, by The New York Times, referring to the chaos that had occurred as a result of the “Thanksgiving” discounts.
Nevertheless, its practice in Spain is more recent. In our country, Apple was the first to introduce Black Friday in 2010. However, it was not consolidated until 2012, when the realization of sales was authorized at any moment of the year. It was precisely in this moment when its practice turned viral. This tendency is major in department and multinational stores, whereas in small shops it is still timid.
What is bought at the Black Friday?
According to the Cetelem Observatory 2018, last year the products that were most bought were, respectively, fashion (43%), appliances and technology (32%), mobile devices (31%) and footwear and accessories (29%). The following is a more detailed look at the products and services acquired in 2017 on the occasion of the Black Friday:The average expenditure for the Black Friday 2018 was €280, which implies 13% more than the previous year. 44% of consumers were in the spending range of between 100 and €300 (44%), while 18% stated they intended to spend between €300 and
€500, and 10% between €500 and €1,000.
Black Friday and consumers
Consumers are one of the main elements in the design of the strategy to be used when it is about to celebrate the Black Friday. Because of that, the comprehension of the norms relative to the protection of the consumer is vital, as well as the work that the OCU (Spanish Organization of Consumers and Users) realizes on this matter. In fact, this organization monitor the prices of the products a month before Black Friday to analyze if the announced deals really constitute a discount. Among its main conclusions for this edition, during the week of Black Friday 37.1% of the products were cheaper than on the 23rd of October, and only 22.2% of them were more expensive than in the previous month.
In addition, the lowest prices were found in the sales of capsule coffeemakers, TVs and summer tires, while minor changes have been observed in small appliances such as fryers or microwaves.
Do you want your Business to celebrate Black Friday?
Joining this trend is a guarantee of success, especially if you have an online store. Indeed, 50% of consumers stated that they would make their purchases in this way against 12% that would do so in a physical store. From Dos Aguas Consulting we offer advice and resolve all queries you may have regarding Black Friday. We can turn Black Friday into your favorite day of the year!
 Elena Sanz (2018) ¿Qué es el ‘Black Friday’?, Muy Historia. Available online (link) [Last accessed: 28.11.2018]
 El Periódico (16 de noviembre de 2018) ¿Qué es el Black Friday? Origen y desde cuándo se hace en España, El Periódico. Available online (link) [Last accessed: 28.11.2018]
 El Observatorio Cetelem (2018) El gasto durante el BLACK FRIDAY de los españoles, page: 9. Available online (link) [Last accessed: 28.11.2018]
 Organización de Consumidores y Usuarios (26 de noviembre de 2018) Black Friday 2018: ¿bajan los precios?, OCU. Available online (link) [Last accessed: 28.11.2018]
Political instability in a country has a direct impact on its trade. In recent years, there have been many elements that have affected trade relations at an international level. As a consequence, global trade protectionism has increased and the position that the President of the United States has been defending has marked a wake of uncertainty in global markets. In Europe, the UK’s negotiations to leave the European Union continue to appear on the region’s political-risk scenario. Likewise, as the negotiations continue, the risk of the UK leaving without a satisfactory agreement increases, and companies may need to be prepared for such an event.
Political risk is defined as the risk arising from the political and economic circumstances of the country with trade interests. In this way, the level of political risk will vary depending on the country. This risk is mainly caused by the political measures of the country’s authorities, which may affect the ability of its residents to carry out transactions, or even to breach the contract. This situation raises the question, how to act in the face of a political risk?
From a business point of view, the types of action against these risks are classified into two different models: active and non-active.
Active modes of action
Active action implies, for example, hiring export credit insurance. This instrument is a hedging mechanism that protects exporters against both ordinary and extraordinary risks arising from international trade. They shall, therefore, be compensated for the damage caused by events which may impede the collection or recovery of credits agreed abroad. For example, in Spain, the Spanish Company of Export Credit Insurance (in Spanish, Compañía Española de Seguros de Crédito a la Exportación-CESCE) offers a wide range of products that enable companies to cover the political and commercial risks they have in their business operations and international investment (export operations, sales on the domestic market, foreign investment, resolution of contracts, work abroad, implementation of securities clearing operations, etc). CESCE covers the short-term commercial risks, both inside and outside Spain, as well as the state long-term commercial and political risks in all its periods, in relation to the external activity of the companies.
Another instrument to take into consideration is forfaiting operations which is a modality of export financing, that consists of the commercial discount that the exporter receives to implement the deferred payment of commercial purchase/sale operations. These are instruments that are likely to be financed such as letters and promissory notes, both with the endorsement of front-line banks. The time allowed is usually between 6 months and 5 years. The virtuality of this instrument is that it implies the assurance of the collection of the export by the exporter.
Non-active modes of action
The non-active mode of action is the observance and analysis of the country risk, that is to say, the study of the country’s qualification with regard to its political risk. Thus, the types of risks to be analyzed are the following:
Sovereign risk. The risk of the creditors of the States or of entities guaranteed by them, since any legal action against the borrower could be ineffective.
Transfer risk. This is the risk that foreign creditors have against residents in a country when they unable to cope with their debts because they do not have enough currencies for that debt.
Risks arising from the international financial activity. These are the risks that can be covered by the export credit insurance.
It must be pointed out that this analysis will always depend on the institution that performs it and the variables that it uses. For example, after the economic crisis of 2008 and the fall of Lehman Brothers (which had obtained the highest qualification), these agencies suffered a great loss of credibility and proved that they may not work as an instrument against the risk generated by Economic and/or political instabilities.
However, beyond big companies, there are also other companies and agencies that are dedicated to the analysis and localization of political risks such as MARSH, which makes a map and detailed study of all countries worldwide. Here we can see the map of the year 2018:
In conclusion, these instruments are useful for identifying and mitigating the effects of political risks on international trade operations, and for providing security in our international activities. Do you have any doubts? Don’t hesitate to contact us!
 Guillermo Rivas-Plata Sierra et al. (2008) ¿Cómo operar en el Comercio Internacional?, Agroleader+, page: 79. Available online (link) [Last accessed: 22.11.2018]
 Ministerio de Industria, Comercio y Turismo (2018) Cobertura por cuenta del Estado de los riesgos de la internacionalización de la economía española: CESCE, Gobierno de España’s website. Available online (link) [Last accessed: 22.11.2018]
 Fermín Pérez Aguilera (2017) Manual. Puesta en marcha y financiación de pequeños negocios o microempresas, Editorial CEP, page:91.
 Consejo Superior de Cámaras de Comercio. Plan Cameral de las Exportaciones (2018) ¿Qué es el Forfaiting?, Cámaras’ website. Available online (link) [Last accessed: 22.11.2018]
 Consejo Superior de Cámaras de Comercio. Plan Cameral de las Exportaciones (2018) ¿Cuáles son los instrumentos de cobertura del riesgo político y comercial?, Cámaras’ website. Available online (link) [Last accessed: 22.11.2018]
A few weeks ago the team of Dos Aguas Consulting wrote a blog about the current situation of Brexit. In that article it was analyzed the possible scenarios after Brexit, as well as the resulting consequences. In this new post, it will be discussed the countries that are going to be affected the most by this new situation.
The countries that will be affected the most by potential imposition of tariffs, rates and/or other trade barriers in the United Kingdom are those that export on a large scale to the country. Thus, according to exports data from the period between 2013-2017, these will be EU countries that have been benefited by the existence of a Common Market and the absence of trade barriers. In the next table it can be seen that the countries that will suffer a greater impact are the following:
Top 10 countries with the largest shares of imports to the UK (in thousands of euros)
According to the Brexit Sensitivity Index (BSI) elaborated in 2016 by the rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P), the most affected country will be Ireland, followed by Malta, Luxembourg, and Cyprus. The aforementioned agency has established a ranking of the 20 countries that are most affected by migratory flows, exports to the UK foreign direct investment in the UK, and the demands of the financial sector on the institutions of the UK. In the following graph, Spain is placed in eighth position in a ranking that shows the impact on the financial sector. In this same graph it can be seen that the damage on exports is not as big.
According to the BSI, the Spanish exposure to the exit of the United Kingdom from the EU is notable. This index stresses the idea that the financial sector and the investments of Spanish companies in the UK will be weaker in this new scenario. It is also noticeable that, according to the BSI, the exposure of the Spanish economy is higher than that of countries such as France, Germany, and Italy due to the great interest that some of the main Spanish corporations have in UK.
The Spanish case
The exposure is particularly relevant in the British financial sector through the Santander and Sabadell banks (owners of TSB), as well as to the telecommunications companies. In this way, according to data from International Financial Analysts (Analistas Financieros Internacionales in Spanish), Santander UK would be depositary of 10% to 20 % of current British accounts, a percentage that in the case of TSB is estimated at around 5%. In 2015, Grupo Santander obtained 30% and Sabadell 17.2% of their net profit in the UK.
Another sector highly affected will be telecommunications. According to IMF estimations and some economists, the possible deterioration of the economy in the United Kingdom could lead to a loss of value of the British subsidiary of Telefonica, O2.
It is paradoxical that, despite Spain’s large market share in UK services, especially in tourism, exports of Spanish goods and services to the country is only 2.7% of its GDP, which represents 0.1% below Germany, and slightly above the average.
In short, there is still no damage in the Spanish exports to the United Kingdom. However, it is true that Brexit is still not fully resolved and few dare to venture its long-term consequences.
According to the American Marketing Association, marketing is “an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders”. When a company wants to elaborate its international marketing plan, it is necessary to take into account the traditional 4 P: product (or service), price, place and promotion.
To understand how these concepts work, we are going to study the marketing strategy of H&M, one of the world’s leading clothing and accessories’ retailer. H&M carries out elaborate advertising campaigns and marketing actions that combine global and local elements. This fact will allow us to better analyze the marketing mix own strategies and to have a broadpicture of how marketing works at a business level.
First, H&M is one of the most relevant fashion companies in the world, with salesreaching up to 210 billion SEK in 2015. H&M Group has six fashion brands – H&M, COS, Monki, & Other Stories, Weekday and Cheap Monday -, with more than 4,100 stores in 63 markets and presence in the electronic market in 32 countries. In addition, it employed approximately 123,178 people in 2017. Based on this, we will analyze its marketing strategy:
Strategic marketing proposal at a global level
Global marketing involves the implementation of a standardization strategy that consists in considering that the market of a product is global. Meaning that, despite the differences between nations, companies offer the same product in all markets. Thus, companies offer an international consistent image: the company can project a single universal image among all the citizens of the world.The use of a global campaign aligns with the fact that the company belongs to the fashion world, where there is a homogenization of tastes and consumer demand is greater than in other sectors.
All of this means that H&M, to a greater extent, implements marketing campaigns at a global level. This is can been seen in the fact that H&M offers the same collection in all the countries where it has a presence. In fact, it carries out advertising campaigns with models and celebrities with international trajectories such as David Beckham, for men’s collections, or Gisele Bündchen or Vanessa Paradis, for women’s collections. Also, within this global strategy we can find the so-called “capsule collections” of famous designers, which are presented in selected stores around the world.
Thus, if we access H&M’s website in different countries, we see exactly how the same clothing collection is offered and with the same images, we can see this fact in the image that is shown after the autumn 2016 campaign.
Source: elaborated by Dos Aguas Consulting, using images of H&M websites in different countries. From left to right: Saudi Arabia, Russia, Spain and Japan.
Another element to keep in mind is the price that does not present great divergences in the countries where H&M offers its products.
Strategic marketing proposal at the local level
H&M Group also carries out a strategy of adapting its clothing lines to the cultural parameters and values of the country in which it will stablishits market. Therefore, we observe elements of what is known as local marketing, that is, it carries out localization strategies. This implies a greater approach to the consumer since they adapt to the tastes, preferences and local values.
Although it is true the statement made in the previous activity where we defended the homogenization of the world of fashion, it is no less true that clothing is directly affected by the values and customs of society. That is why the companies in the world of fashion are no strangers to it and a representative example of this strategy is that H&M adapts not only its product but also the publicity it carries out in countries with Islamic religion and culture.
Next, we can observe the advertising campaign of the company carried out in 2011 by Gisele Bündchen where it was adapted to the tenor of the country receiving it. In the image on the left we find the photograph as it was seen in the western market and in the right the aspect it presented in the markets of the East to adapt to the “sensitivities” of culture and spatially to the demands of the market of the GCC – are the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council that are: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE.
Source: elaborated by Dos Aguas Consulting. H&M’s images
The Swedish company is committed to promoting multiculturalism and adapting to countries with deep-rooted social traditions, as far as clothing is concerned. In addition, we cannot ignore the fact that this helps them in their ability to compete with local businesses. Thus, in 2015 it carried out an advertising campaign “Close the Loop” in which it approached different cultures through clothing.
Source: H&M’s images
However, not all the changes or adaptations made by H&M are due to demands derived from religious values or demands but rather to adapt to the demands of society. Thus, you could cite by way of example that the fashion chain had to change its range of products in the United States, adapting to the circumstance that male customers in the United States were less fashion conscious than Europeans.
But not everything in marketing focuses on advertising, so when H&M entered the US market it realized that by locating in the suburbs he faced too much price competition. And so, adapted its global strategy and located stores in more exclusive places and in the city center where it continued to offer low prices.
In conclusion, the marketing mix is the adapted combination of the different market variables on which each company acts in order to achieve the sales target established in its target market.
What can Dos Aguas Consulting do for you?
Marketing management involves taking a series of key decisions, such as: what to sell, to whom, how to reach the customer, at what price, how much to sell, how to make known, and how to organize the company. Dos Aguas Consulting can help you to answer these questions with our knowledge of the Spanish market and the profile of the Spanish consumer. In our work as a company specialized in advising and supporting international companies that want to invest in Spain, we can help you find clients and make a profitable business in the country. We can design your marketing strategy or adapt it to this market particularities. Local? Global? You decide! Get in touch with us, our trade and marketing advisors will help you!
 Statista (2018) Average number of employees (full time equivalent) at H&M worldwide from 2005 to 2017. Statista website. Available online (link) Last accessed: 07.11.2018
 Perceptions Everything (February 9th, 2014) Marketing Local vs. Marketing Global. Available online (link) Last accessed: 07.11.2018
 Leah Chernikoff (March 21st, 2011) Gisele Bündchen gets covered up for the Dubai version of her H&M campaign, Fashionista. Available online (link) Last accessed: 07.11.2018
 The Express Tribune (September 11th, 2015), Muslim girl in hijab unveils H&M’s new collection. Available online (link) Last accessed: 07.11.2018
 DUMITRESCU Luigi y VINEREAN Simona, “The Global Strategy of Global Brands”, Studies in Business and Economics. Page:153. Available online (link) Last accessed: 07.11.2018
 DUMITRESCU Luigi y VINEREAN Simona, “The Global Strategy of Global Brands”, Studies in Business and Economics. Page:154. Available online (link) Last accessed: 07.11.2018