The San Juan Daily Star
DDEC: Trade Mission to Spain set for April 4-8
By The Star Staff
Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC by its Spanish acronym) Secretary Manuel Cidre Miranda says DDEC’s Trade and Export Program (PCE) will carry out a Commercial Mission to Spain from April 4 to April 8.
Cidre said businessmen and entrepreneurs interested in participating in the trade mission have until Feb. 4 to apply.
“With the goal of promoting and strengthening the presence of local companies in the Spanish market, the DDEC Trade and Export Program is in the recruitment process for the first face-to-face multi-sector trade mission in Spain,” Cidre said. “The last trade mission to Spain was in 2019, prior to the pandemic, and very positive results were obtained.”
On that occasion, the delegation of 13 Puerto Rican companies did over $5.2 million in sales. In the upcoming trade mission, Cidre said, the groups will have the opportunity to visit the IT and manufacturing sectors, in addition to presenting Puerto Rico as the best gateway to the United States market.
“The objective of DDEC is to ensure that this trade mission gives local entrepreneurs the opportunity to explore new business opportunities in the European market, beyond importing and exporting products from both destinations,” he said.
Last November, the Trade and Export Program held an informational meeting for those companies interested in participating in the trade mission and it was well received, Cidre said; more than 65 local companies participated.
Entrepreneurs who participate in the trade mission to Spain will have an agenda of business appointments with potential customers for their products or services.
In addition, they will have the opportunity to participate in a workshop on the market in Spain and the European Union, its legal and logistical aspects, among other international trade issues.
They will also have the opportunity to study the business climate, explore the market, make new contacts and establish export strategies. Likewise, participants will be able to obtain an incentive to cover part of the travel expenses incurred in the mission. This incentive is granted through reimbursement and the presentation of evidence of expenses.
In 2020, Puerto Rico’s exports to Spain totaled $1.5 billion, while imports totaled $156 million.
“This represents a positive trade balance with that market of $1.3 billion with a growth in exports of 45 percent,” Cidre said. “The Spanish market offers opportunities mainly in the food and beverage, chemical and pharmaceutical, plastic products, and medical and surgical instruments sectors. The challenge of this effort is to increase the market share for products manufactured in Puerto Rico with 100 percent Puerto Rican capital.”
This trade mission to Spain is made possible in part by a federal grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s State Trade and Export Promotion, known as STEP.