Success cases of Spanish firms in China and its context
The Spanish multinational companies pave the way
There are opportunities for Spanish SMEs to succeed in the Chinese market; they exist in several strategic sectors. Spanish multinationals have invested and done business in that market, paving the way for companies of medium or small size.
The current outlook is not very positive for the foreign trade of Spanish SMEs, albeit it may be for certain products or services. The major Spanish SME markets are going through difficult situations: it is a weakness in the internationalization strategy where many resources have been invested in country brand, distribution networks, branding, etc.. both privately and publicly.
The global strategic opportunities are in almost unknown markets for Spanish SMEs, in particular, in countries of Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, especially in China and India. The recession in the EU and socio-economic uncertainty in Latin America, makes it necessary to consider China as a strategic market, potentially both as a competitor, or as a supplier (“produce at Chinese cost and sell at western price”). Getting to know the key aspects of this market will be critical to successfully design of a deployment strategy and / or an exports’ one.
The Chinese market is extremely complex, bureaucratic and also very competitive, where the rules are very different to those in the West. Any strategy for China has to be planned in the long term and must have the sufficient financial and human resources to develop it. At this stage, consultants and local partners are extremely important to develop such a strategy.
Spanish companies as Técnicas Reunidas, Nutrexpa, Alsa, Fermax, Indra, have successfully managed to position themselves in this complex market. There are more examples of this kind in all sectors. A few examples: Iberian Commodity Consulting Ltd., a company of entrepreneurs, Aceites Abril in the food industry or Global Talent Solutions S. L, an information technology company that has developed a clever globalization strategy.
That some big Spanish companies are succeeding in China is certain and furthermore, they are opening the doors for smaller companies to enter the Chinese markets more easily. This is verified by the names mentioned in the previous paragraph; even law firms are escorting Spanish SME in their Chinese ventures. Effort, patience, training and strategic consulting, are the key requirements. Spanish SMEs can verify for themselves the old aphorism: “when there’s a will there’s a way.”