The political situation in Catalonia continues to affect the image of the Spanish brand and, therefore, foreign investment, but to a lesser extent than two years ago and is being more detrimental to the Catalonia brand itself, which “has lost two decades in terms of brand strength”.
These are some of the conclusions of the latest report on the impact of the political situation in Catalonia on the Spain brand, presented by MESIAS, the intelligence system responsible for monitoring the status and evolution of the Country Brand, which was presented last Thursday at the University CEU San Pablo.
According to José María Cubillo, general director of MESIAS, the Spain brand has recovered from the loss of image and reputation it suffered in 2017, while the Catalonia brand has weakened. “The Catalonia brand has lost two decades in terms of brand strength”, mainly due to the decline in foreign investment and the fall in exports, “two historical pillars of the Catalan economy now become sources of weakness”, he continued.
On the other hand, he pointed out, “the loss of strength of the Catalonia brand, far from having weakened the Spain brand, has caused a process of rebalancing and redistribution of attractiveness by autonomous communities”. In fact, the report predicts that the Catalan conflict in 2019 will have a smaller effect on the brand Spain than in 2017, to which has contributed “the demonstration that Spain is a strong and solid state, which ensures security, stability and compliance with the law”. For this reason, the procès will continue to affect the Spanish brand, but above all, it will affect “the Catalonia brand and the Barcelona brand”.
In the same act, the president of CEOE International, Marta Blanco, warned that “the brand Spain does not generate antibodies anywhere in the world” and that “the vision of foreign companies is general and not just what happens in each of the regions”. For this reason, and taking into account the degree of internationalization of Spanish companies, “it is necessary to isolate the general situation with respect to the particular one in Catalonia and to design strategies that reinforce aspects in which the Spanish brand has a greater added value”.
For his part, the secretary general of the Círculo de Empresarios, Alfredo Bonet, stated that “conflict and violence in Catalonia, especially when it affects production processes, exponentially increases the risk of investment”. “It is essential for us to be able to show foreign investors the strength of State institutions and, within the State, of Catalan institutions”, he added.