According to the Internationalization Strength Index (ISI), prepared by Amec, the strength of the internationalization of the Spanish economy improved by 7.45% throughout 2022 compared to the previous year, despite the fact that the number of exporting companies decreased by 24%. This was announced by the general director of Amec, Joan Tristany during a recent press conference.
The ISI, which evaluates a total of 19 indicators, places the solidity of internationalization at 7.36 points out of 10 in 2022. This index has improved by 18% compared to 2014, the year in which Amec began to develop it.
”This good performance of the ISI should not surprise us,“ explains Joan Tristany, ”since, as most indicators reflect, the recovery of the Spanish economy has been supported, once again, by the foreign sector.” All this despite the ups and downs that exports may have due to the Ukrainian war or inflation.
Specifically, this improvement is driven by the good performance of the indicator of Investment Abroad and that of Establishment Abroad, as well as the Indicator of the Weight of Exports in GDP, which continues to make remarkable progress with growth of 58.8%, 39.2% and 14.9%, respectively. The main importers of Spanish companies are the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States and Luxembourg.
It is also worth highlighting the positive contribution of the Technology Intensity Indicator (whose growth is 9.1%), which shows the effort being made by industrial companies to apply innovation at a key moment of transformation of the productive sector, in line with digitalization, the evolution towards Industry 4.0 and the adoption of the necessary changes to ensure sustainability. ”In 2022 we have increased the weight of high value-added products in our basket of exported products and we have approached the weight of high-technology intensity exports of our main European competitors,” adds Tristany.
However, the Export Base Indicator, the Regular Exporters Indicator and the Business Diversification Indicator contributed negatively to the ISI result, with a fall of 16%, 5.1% and 3.9% respectively.
“The data show us that we have fewer companies that export on a regular basis and that there is a higher concentration of exports in the top 500 companies. All this responds to the process of business concentration that is taking place, with the absorption of some small activities by others, which are gaining dimension,” said the general director of Amec.
The set of strong indicators shows that Spain has a powerful industry and a very well-positioned foreign sector worldwide. Far from remitting, the key role of industry and the foreign sector in the Spanish economy continues to be reaffirmed, providing it with solidity.
All this is possible when there are more and more difficulties for international activity in the world, due to the geopolitical environment, as the Indicator of Barriers shows. Another weak indicator is that of Public Investment, despite 2022 being a key year in the application of the Next Generation funds. In relation to the latter, Tristany pointed out that, according to data taken by Amec among its associates in February 2023, 60% of companies had not had access to such funds. Of these, 38% stated that there were no interesting calls, 28% did not meet the conditions, 18% had not applied due to the complexity of the processes and 10% claimed lack of time. This shows a certain mismatch between the companies’ activity and the support lines, something that could be avoided if the design of the Next Generation funds were improved, according to Amec.
The community of internationalized industrial companies, AMEC, brings together more than 350 industrial companies, which generate an export volume of more than 6,200 million euros, export on average 57.7% of their turnover and invest 5.1% in innovation.
The objective of the ISI is to summarize the strength and robustness of internationalization and to observe its evolution. It evaluates a total of 19 quantitative and qualitative indicators grouped into four main dimensions: actors, results, global value chains and enabling elements.