Pedro Sánchez travels to the US on Tuesday, where he will stay until Friday, July 23, to attract investors. The president trusts the success of the second part of his mandate to economic recovery through the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, for which public-private collaboration is necessary. That is why he wants to convey an image of trust and security in the first person to the main funds to convince them to invest in Spain. Another leg of the trip with which the socialist intends, according to government sources, to strengthen economic ties in the North American country is the audiovisual and the third, the technology sector.
The president will land in New York on Tuesday and will make a first stop on Wednesday to meet with a dozen investment fund representatives. It is not the first time that Sánchez has held meetings of this type in the United States. It already did so in September 2019, but now in Moncloa they are convinced that community funds represent an opportunity for these types of companies, which even have the doors open – like other companies – to public-private collaboration projects that are put in place within the framework of the recovery plan.
Among those selected there are some that already have significant interests in Spain, such as Blackstone, a vulture fund that controls nearly 30,000 rental homes thanks to its Socimis, and with several open court cases. The meeting takes place when the coalition has been months behind in the approval of the housing law, in which it is being discussed between the members of the Executive if a regulation that allows lowering prices is promoted. In the Madrid election campaign, for example, the PSOE proposed to prohibit the sale of public housing to this type of company. However, in Moncloa they assure that the president will not discuss legislative details with the representatives of the funds, but rather strategic details about the opportunities that the Spanish market has.
Others represented will be Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, which in addition to moving billions as investment banks have a decisive influence with their analyzes on the situation of the economies, so they have a special relevance for the Executive in its desire to show the solidity of the Spanish economy. The latest reports from these companies have not been very encouraging. The first warned of political instability as a weakness for the recovery plan and the second that the Delta variant of COVID-19 could detract from Spanish GDP.
Sánchez will have lunch with Michael Bloomberg, who is one of the main issuers of financial information, so the intention of the president is to show solidity and clear policies so that the information received by the world’s main investors is positive and sees Spain as a suitable country to invest. He will also meet bilaterally with Larry Fink, another Wall Street tycoon, CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest investment manager, which has stakes in a large part of Spanish listed companies, of which 18 are from the Ibex.
The Government maintains that Sánchez has to try to attract as much private capital as possible from those companies whose investments can create numerous jobs in Spain.
Cinema, Spanish and technology in California
Sánchez will then fly to the mecca of cinema. In Los Angeles, he will visit NASA Headquarters – one of the PERTE [proyectos de colaboración público-privada para los fondos europeos] is framed in the aerospace sector, and Universal studios, where he will meet executives from the audiovisual world, such as Netflix. One of the recovery projects is ‘Spanish Hollywood’. The Government wants to promote Spain as the great hub European audiovisual.
In the barely 24 hours that it will spend in Los Angeles, it will also present the headquarters of the Cervantes Institute, which was announced in 2018, but whose creation has been delayed until July 13 of this month, when the Council of Ministers approved the decree for the opening of a new center in that country, in addition to those in New York, Chicago and Albuquerque. It is estimated that the US will be the second in Spanish speakers behind Mexico in 2060. “We want it to be the home of Hispanics in Los Angeles,” they point out in Moncloa. With this cultural character also, Sánchez will participate in a conference at the University of California, in which the president of the Cervantes Institute, the writer Luis García Montero, the rector and the Hispanicist Barbara Fuchs will also participate.
Sánchez will end the trip in San Francisco, where he intends to cover the third objective: the technology sector, which is one of the Government’s stakes (digital transformation, artificial intelligence …). He will visit Apple’s headquarters in Silicon Valley and, later, have a meeting with entrepreneurs. On this occasion, Moncloa has invited representatives from five startups Spanish: Red Point (Laura Urquizu), Rated Power (Andrea Barber), Adara Ventures (Alberto Gómez), Wallbox (Enric Asunción) and Carto, (Javier de la Torre).
Moncloa has also arranged several interviews. The president will have a 10-minute participation in the MSNBC program Morning joe, which made international headlines when Donald Trump insulted presenters, including Joe Scarborough, who was a Republican congressman in the 1990s, and whom the former president called a “psychopath.” He will also meet with CNN, Reuters and Bloomberg Technology.
In Moncloa they maintain that Sánchez’s trip is eminently economic and not political (although in Los Angeles he will meet with the mayor) and they assure that they have not contacted the White House so that there may be a meeting with Joe Biden. “This is not the time to hold these meetings at that level,” say government sources, despite the fact that the government’s presidency did seek a bilateral meeting with the US president in the framework of the NATO summit held a few weeks ago in Brussels. That appointment was reduced to a photo of both leaders walking from the family photo to the room where the event was held behind closed doors.
The Minister of Industry, Reyes Maroto, who will be in Washington this Tuesday before joining the president’s route, will hold meetings with the Biden Administration. One of the meetings will be with the Secretary of Commerce, Gina Marie Raimondo, with whom she will address “issues on the bilateral agenda in the steel and aluminum sectors, the progress in the dispute over Spanish black olives, the anti-dumping procedure that affects the Wind tower exports will also address mobility and visa issues that affect trade and investment, as well as opportunities for Spanish companies under the American Jobs Plan, “the ministry reported in a press release. He will also meet with the head of the Office of the Trade Representative, Katherine Chi Tai, to discuss “US tariff policy on Spanish products or the commitment to reach a consensus on international tax issues through the OECD processes.” Later it will be received by Biden’s advisor Steve Ricchetti.