#EmbraceSpain IV: the new and approaching future

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The #EmbraceSpain campaign is progressing well and has been successful in showing the strong relationship with the United Kingdom, which is especially important given that there is now an approximate date for the UK to exit the EU.

This week at Del Canto Chambers in London, we have continued our work in turning Brexit into an opportunity and overcoming the uncertainty that surrounds it. Regarding our #EmbraceSpain campaign, another initiative has been presented, #ThinkMadrid, by the community of Madrid, that looks to attract investors to Spain’s capital and to convert it into a new financial hub of significance in Europe.

The Hispanic-British relations are now more important than ever. We had a meeting in London with the director of the “Instituto Cervantes”, Julio Crespo, and  head of cultural activities, Francesc Puertolas, at his new office on the Strand, in central London. During the meeting we weighed up the different ways in which we could leverage the #EmbraceSpain campaign to successfully re-establish commercial and cultural relationships in both countries.

The British government’s announcement that article 50 of the TEU will be invoked in 2017 and that negotiations will start with Brussels for its exit, urges those who advocate strong relations between Spain and the United Kingdom, and gives a purpose to those with interests on either side of the Channel.

Additionally, the British government has announced that there will be changes in the tax system starting in the upcoming tax year. Business leaders from the Institute of Directors have denounced the complexity of this and have asked for reforms in Corporation tax, in addition to tax breaks and the creation of an “SME tax”; a new model for small and medium business that will simplify their tax obligations.

On a separate note, Leon Fernando Del Canto has this week been named a member of the rector council of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP), which will represent the interests of Britons with properties outside of the country. Furthermore, Leon Fernando has published an opinion article piece in the Huffington Post on the convenience of reestablishing mandatory votes to counteract the current citizen disinterest in politics and for the election results to reflect the wide diversity of the population. The results are therefore not so much determined by the political parties’ control over the media.

Over to the Middle East, in Qatar, our associate Samar Abu-Farah took part in television programme “Enviado Especial”, which aired on Spanish TV channel La Sexta. Samar featured in a special report on Qatar called “Eldesierto de los prodigios”, translated to “The desert of wonders which aired last Tuesday night.

Presented by the journalist Jalis de la Serna, the report showed how this Persian Gulf country is a nation in transformation. To this effect, Qatar is fulfilling a huge investment in infrastructures (roads, metro, airports, museums, universities, hospitals, cultural cities etc.), helpfully incentivised by the fact that it has been chosen for the World Cup of 2022. This will also help diversify the country’s economy and counteract its excessive dependence on gas and petrol.

This report has outlined the great effort made by the Qatari government to better and secure dignified working conditions, especially in the construction sector. As mentioned last week, a new labour law will come into force mid-December which will put an end to the controversial model of sponsoring or Kafala.

Education is another point of economic development for Qatar. The government, through the Qatar Foundation, is promoting university education for the majority of the population, placing great emphasis on the education of women. Because of this they have started Education City, a university campus on the outskirts of Doha which groups prestigious international universities from all around the world. These facilities are first class, with a small student-class ratio, meaning that they will receive only the best training, and there will also be great investment put into training and development, thus attracting more international students and international investment.

The political and economic changes spell opportunities for those who know how to understand them. In these last seven days, we have tried to be a part of those and, for those who follow us, we hope to be a part of this new future. #EmbraceSpain

Xavier Nova (@xavinova)

Del Canto Chambers Director