The Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, underlined the growing potential of foreign trade, one of the main drivers of the dynamic agrifood and fisheries sector.
It is precisely the importance of foreign trade and the need to have relevant information on it that led the ministry to develop a new tool allowing intuitive and interactive access to data on exports and imports in the sector. agrifood and fishing.
During the presentation of this tool, already available in the “Analysis and statistics” area of the Spanish ministry’s website, Luis Planas stressed that this initiative will be of great benefit to the sector as a whole and is a reflection of the general administration of the Spanish state. transparency and access to information policies.
The tool allows the monitoring of agri-food foreign trade, previously carried out with monthly and annual export reports, but with greater scope and depth. The program not only displays a selection of data, but also their classification, relationship, graphical interpretation and further analysis according to user needs. In short, allow professionals in the sector to select the information that interests them the most and to extract further reading.
In his speech, the Minister underlined the importance of the Spanish agri-food sector, the EU’s fourth largest agribusiness power and world leader in products such as olive oil, pork, citrus fruits and wine, and one from the largest suppliers of fresh fruit and vegetables to Europe. It is a sector of great social and economic importance which contributes about 11% of the GDP of our country and generates 2.8 million jobs.
He also underlined the value of the Spanish fishing sector, with more than 8,000 vessels, making Spain the largest fleet in the European Union, and more than 5,000 aquaculture establishments.
Foreign trade in agrifood
Regarding foreign trade, he highlighted the continuous increase in export figures and the main balance over the past ten years, reaching record figures year on year. Thus, in 2010 the value of exports was around 28 billion euros and in the last rolling year (until May 2021) it increased to 55 billion euros.
Planas stressed that this positive trend continued even in 2020 when, despite the pandemic, the performance of foreign trade in agri-food and fisheries was positive, and better than that of the economy as a whole. This year, the exports of the Spanish economy as a whole decreased by 10.2% compared to 2019, while the agri-food sector increased by 4.1%, reaching 53,848 million euros, with a trade balance of 18,693 million euros (+ 25.8% compared to 2019).
To support the international projection of the agri-food sector, the ministry collaborates with the sector in aspects such as opening new markets, promoting products, simplifying administrative procedures, supporting exporters at destination and analyzing and reviewing dissemination of foreign trade data for the main sectors.
In this regard, he stressed the importance of establishing trade agreements with third countries to open up new markets, such as Korea, Canada, Japan and Singapore. He also appreciated the EU’s agreement with the UK, which guarantees access to both markets without tariffs or quotas, which will allow us to maintain export trade flows for our agri-food products. He also welcomed the agreement reached with the United States to suspend additional tariffs related to the Airbus and Boeing cases for five years.
In this context, he underlined the need to be demanding with regard to imports, as any product imported into the EU must have the same requirements in terms of food safety, environment, animal welfare and animal welfare. use of plant protection products similar to those produced in the EU.