Business In Spain
Spain is the second largest country in the EU. The territory of Spain covers
most of the Iberian Peninsula; which it shares with Portugal and also includes
the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic

Ocean, and the North African cities of Ceuta and Melilla. In the north it is
bordered by the Cantabrian Sea, France and Andorra; in the east and south-east
by the Mediterranean; in the south by the Straits of Gibraltar; in the
south-east by the Atlantic; in the west by Portugal and in the north-east by the

Atlantic. Climate The temperate in Spain is clear, hot summers in the interior,
more moderate and cloudy along the coast, cloudy, cold winters in the interior,
partly cloudy and cool along the coast. Terrain The terrain of Spain described
as large, flat to dissected plateau surrounded by rugged hills; Pyrenees in the
north. Natural hazards Periodic droughts Time Zones Spain is one hour ahead of

London time, with the exception of the Canary Island, which is in the same time
zone as London. Language Castilian Spanish 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque

2% Spanish is the official language, which is used along with other official
regional languages, such as Catalan, Basque, Galician and Valencian in their
respective autonomous communities. English is the main foreign language studied
at school. Population 39,167,744 (July 1999 est.) Age structure 0-14 years: 15%
(male 3,012,907; female 2,835,455) 15-64 years: 68% (male 13,411,046; female

13,406,216) 65 years and over: 17% (male 2,702,654; female 3,799,468) (1999
est.) Currency 1 peseta (Pta) = 100 centimos Economic System Spain is very
dynamic country and has achieved high economic growth rates surpassing the
average of other industrialized countries. Sixty million tourists visit the
country each year. International organizations recognize and endorse the
improvement in the Spanish economy, as the country shows a projected GDP growth
of 3.7 percent for 1998. The operations in the Spanish financial system can be
classified as follows: The Bank of Spain, :Banco de Espana," is the central
issuing bank. It implements the monetary and exchange policy set forth by the

Government and provides payment services with respect to the national debt.

Around 50 foreign banks have offices in Spain. Stock market There are four stock
exchanges in Spin; the largest is Madrid and the others are located in

Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao. The Spanish stock exchanges are characterized
over the long run by strong steady growth in share price. Money Market The money
market is based fundamentally on the issuance of short-term securities by the

Bank of Spain, which are taken up by banks, finance companies and money market
operators that place a portion of them with individuals and corporations with
cash surpluses for short-term investment. In a broader sense, the money market
also covers inter-bank deposits. Interest rates on such deposits are as a
benchmark for other transactions and trading in short-term corparate securities
(although these are dealt with through stock exchanges). The money market has
become increasingly important as a result of the liberalization and greater
flexibility of the Spanish financial system. This is evident from the fact that
interest rates are ordinarily higher than the inflation rate and from the
substantial volume of trading in money market securities. The Government debt
market is important in Spain and used by both resident and foreign investors.

Favorable tax arrangements for investments by non-residents in these securities
make this market attractive. Transportation Railways: total 15,079 km Highways:
total 346,858 km Paved: 343,389 km Unpaved: 3,469 km Waterways: 1,045 km Ports
and harbors: Aviles, Barceluna, Bilbao, Cadiz, Cartagena, Castellon de la Plana,

Ceuta, Huelua, La Coruna, Las Palmas (Canary Islands), Malaga, Melilla, Pasajes,

Gijon, Santa Cruz de Tenerif (Canry Islands), Santander, Tarragona, Valencia,

Vigo Airports 99 (1998 est.) Political System Spainís government type is
parliamentary monarchy. Spain has three different levels of government,
municipal governments, autonomous communities, and the central government.

Spaniards can boast of having one of the best lifestyles in Europe or for that
matter, in the world. It is the sunniest country in Europe and its climate is
ranked among the healthiest in the world according to the World Health

Organization. Spainís excellent quality of life has been widely recognized by
the media, and in particular a recent study by The Economist ranked Spain as
third in the world in terms of social, political, cultural, and economic
factors. Over four thousand kilometers of beaches, abundant sport and social
opportunities are combined with a diverse cultural heritage painted by the

Celts, Romans, and Arabs. Spain is a very dynamic country and has achieved high
economic growth rates surpassing the average of other