Spanish and UK Trade, an Unlikely Partnership?
By Reece Thomson
In an increasingly globalised world being bi lingual in business is more important than ever. Being able to communicate sincerely with clients can be the make or break for closing a deal. Spanish is the fourth most widely spoken language globally making it a valuable tool in any entrepreneur’s arsenal. Within the context of Britain and Spain the nations share approximately 15 billion a year in communal trade from cars to medicine to Spanish cleaning products. Here at La Dante we can help any aspiring business person tap into this market through our wide range of Spanish learning courses starting from basics to advanced to help give you the edge in interpersonal business relations.
Perhaps one of the biggest exports of Spain is the appeal of a retirement in the sun, with approximately 285,000 British expats living in Spain in 2018. The desire for one of these lovely holiday homes in Spain is the end goal for many British. The impact of this retirement dream ingrained in the British psyche cannot be understated with it being a prominent concept on British television with shows like “Living in the Sun” and “A New Life in the Sun”.
The sun, such a foreign concept in Britain and arguably the driving factor behind this cultural phenomenon. The wider impact of this movement is hard to measure as these Brits buy property in often secluded old towns and can in some cases bring a breath of life into what would otherwise be a dying community.
However the biggest and most important component of these two nations trading is tourism, with Spain being the fan favourite holiday destination for Brits. Since the 1970’s as holidaying became accessible to the everyday man Spain has enticed Brits to visit. Again this is down to our good friend the Spanish sun who we mentioned earlier. This combined with the culture of Spain from her tapas to her flamboyant celebrations make it a staple in British holidaying and looks likely to remain so.
It used to be a one-sided exchange but in recent years more and more Spaniards are choosing to visit the Uk. However it is not always in the traditional vehicle of a week’s holiday, Spaniards come to Britain in many different forms such as workers, students and the tourist. Increasingly in British cities you find Spanish run businesses and blooming microcosms of Spanish sprinkled around communities. Increasingly more Spanish students who come to study in the UK choose to stay after their degree is over and these are the seeds which will grow to form a stronger bond between both Britain and Spain.
This integration shows that although in economic terms the UK and Spain have an important, strong bond it goes much beyond the money as the exchange of people through tourism or otherwise shows both nations have cultural ties which will only increase over time despite the sword of Brexit attempting to sever this long lasting unofficial union.