Puerto de Barcelona
Spain is ranked the eighteenth worldwide as an exporter of goods
Spain in the Globalised World
The international financial and economic crisis of recent years evinced the high degree of interdependence of the world economies, whose activity transcends national borders in an increasingly globalised world. Although in times of crisis globalisation poses a risk, theorists of multilateral organisations defend it as an engine of development, something that has been key in the Spanish case. This country has gone from being the most closed European economy during the first part of the Franco's dictatorship to be among the first economies in the world

Spain is ranked the thirteenth in the list of world economies prepared by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), having a GDP close to 110 billion euros. However, some countries have advanced Spain in this ranking due to the crisis, such as Canada, India, Russia and Australia, and it doesn’t seem likely that Spain can return to be among the top ten in a medium term. The Spanish foreign sector has remained strong despite the crisis and is currently the only pillar of the economy that provides growth, facing to the national demand, which remains stagnant or downward.

Spanish exports of goods rose by 1.7% during 2016, reaching 254,530.2 million euros, according to data from the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE). Regarding the imports of goods and services, they decreased by 0.4% compared to the previous year and stood at 273,284.2 million euros. As a result, the commercial balance registered a deficit of 18,753.9 million euros in the period, 22.4% less than in 2015.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) places Spain the eighteenth in the world ranking of exporters, at the same level as countries such as the United Arab Emirates and India. In addition, according to the 2016 WTO report, Spain is the eleventh world power in the sale of services. Regarding imports, Spain is the fifteenth in the ranking, with countries such as Mexico, Russia and Singapore.


Another of the economic indicators that places Spain in the globalised world is competitiveness, according to a report prepared by the World Economic Forum, which states that it is the 34th in a list of 137 economies, classified by the level of exports in relation to quality of life of the population.

The elements that place Spain in the upper reaches of competitiveness are the quality of its transport infrastructures (recognised as the tenth absolute position), the size of its market or the high rates of enrolment in higher education, as well as the good level of the country in the implementation of information and communication technologies.

Facing these strengths, the World Economic Forum points out weaknesses that damage competitiveness such as macroeconomic imbalances, the imbalance of public accounts, local corruption, lack of credit and insufficient spending on research, development and innovation, which is considered key as an element for the economic transformation of a country.

Regarding the degree of direct foreign investment, according to the data of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, in 2016, the total investment (33,096 million euros) rose by 30.8% in gross terms and 33.5% in net terms, with respect to 2015. 

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  • 29 Jul @SpainMFA * The Government of Spain is deeply saddened by the death of Cardinal Jaime Ortega and expresses its condolences to h… https://t.co/jJdVf7qY9a
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  • 25 Jul @SpainMFA * RT @Moedas: Congratulations to the winner of the 1000th @ERC_Research Proof of Concept grant – 🇪🇸 based engineer M. González-Herráez! For t…

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