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“The pandemic and the war in Ukraine have shown that we need more Europe”

Date: March 4, 2024 Time: 01:25:32

Fernando Salazar will celebrate five years in June at the helm of the Spanish Export Credit Insurance Company (Cesce), the public-private insurer founded in 1970 that has played a key role in enabling thousands of Spanish companies to resist the setbacks of an economic situation in which uncertainty has become the norm. The economist receives La Información at the headquarters on Calle Velázquez in Madrid and has an assessment of this period, in which both the company and its business portfolio have opted for the green path.

At the gates of reaching the equator of 2023, Salazar believes that the economic scenario in the medium term is positive, after a winter in which tensions have been marked by the rise in food prices and not energy products. . In this, he points out that in the face of the crisis of two cliffs predicted by the end of ico-sense credits and the bankruptcy moratorium, most companies are paying in a timely manner, while defaults are reduced.

In the last year and a half, the foreign sector has been key to keeping the Spanish economy afloat, representing half of GDP growth in 2022, which has boosted Cesce’s business volume, which closed the year with a profit of 75.1 million euros, which represents an improvement compared to the figure of the previous year and leaves a dividend of 50%, the highest in its history. At the same time that self-insured capital increases by 71,000 million euros in credit and 7,000 million in surety I have always said that the foreign sector is what gets us out of crises “The pandemic and the war in Ukraine have shown that we need more Europe “, he affirms emphatically.

The war and the energy crisis have directly threatened many operations and in this context, insurers and specifically Cesce have played a fundamental role in enabling the viability of companies with an external focus. The public-private company paid all the clients that had projects in Ukraine and Russia, but also in Algeria, after the controversy caused by the change in the historical position of Spain with respect to the Sahara. In addition, Salazar is proud that Cesce was able to pay 95% of what was insured and make these payments within a period of two months, when its private competitors did so in four, without this implying a great effort for the company.

Fernando Salazar in the interview with La Información. José Gonzalez

However, the executive president of the insurer acknowledges that the current polycrisis that has climatic, social, demographic and political aspects has not led to a radical change in the mentality of Spanish investors, so despite the fact that companies assure a little Furthermore, there has not been an exponential growth in the demand for risk coverage. In this sense, he emphasizes the importance of having this support without differentiating between “good or bad” countries or clients, since he points out that any client that experiences difficulties may not be able to pay.

multipolar international scenario

Latin America occupies a central role in Cesce’s economic activity, as evidenced by the fact that all its subsidiaries are located on the other side of the Atlantic. Salazar recognizes that this region is especially interesting, given that there is a greater perception of risk and consequently insurance is used more. Although, the economist identifies a fundamental problem in this region that has to do with the fact that it has missed the opportunities for reindustrialization and digitization and has turned its foreign sector into the export of raw materials, products that are very volatile to the volatility of the precious ones Which, according to his analysis, has prevented him from making an economic leap that would lead to a growth of the middle class and has given wings to populism in practice throughout the entire continent.

However, Salazar refers to the opportunities that Africa presents, beyond leading countries such as Morocco or South Africa, which, in the face of the aging that has characterized Europe for decades, promises to multiply its population by at least three times by the end of the century. . However, the president of Cesce refuses to observe these characteristics from the benefit that immigration to the old continent would bring and bets on creating opportunities in all these developing communities. Although this region is not exempt from risk, in fact Angola is gaining more and more importance for the insurer, with more than 1,000 million euros insured by the State in different projects and sectors, from energy transport to the sale of aircraft.

China is aware of the potential of this region, which is why it has progressively increased its influence over the territory, just like Russia. A phenomenon that cannot be understood apart from the fact that the developing world is increasingly aware of its capacity, says the economist. Salazar understands that the world has become multipolar, in which different ways of understanding the economy, politics and life try to coexist, but that in some terms they are forced to understand each other or at least to cooperate. The president of Cesce, who lived in Beijing for several years, points out that China is increasingly aware of its strength, which will lead to highly competitive scenarios, especially in the technology sector.

In this scenario, he understands that Europe has to operate in line with the US, as Western standards, but believes that the pattern has been set in recent years, by what he calls regionalized globalism, a phenomenon closely related to strategic autonomy open to the one appealed by the European Union. For Salazar, the war in Ukraine and the pandemic have made it clear that we need more Europe and to positively evaluate the response given as a community to this situation. And he believes that the issuance of joint public debt and the Next Generation funds are the most important feat carried out by the 27 since the launch of the euro.

For the president of Cesce, Spain has no future if it does not walk hand in hand with Europe and for this reason he confesses himself to be a true European. He advocates a model of the European Union that respects the different national identities, that respects the values ​​of each of the regions and their interests, so that the project is not constrained by the leadership of the countries with the strongest economies. Salazar acknowledges that there is still room to be done, such as the energy reform in which the groups of the European Parliament are working, however, he values ​​the muscle of the EU against the North American giant, despite the shadows that the great commitment of the Green deal.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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