Elcano Royal Institute emphasises the potential of Spain-India relations
09.07.2018

Elcano Royal Institute emphasises the potential of Spain-India relations

Water management is one of the industries that afford opportunities to Spanish companies

Elcano Royal Institute is a Spanish think tank for international and strategic studies and one of Europe’s top ten institutes of its kind. The Leaders visited its headquarters to hold a meeting with its director, Charles Powell, and researchers Mario Esteban and Lara Lázaro.

In January, the institution presented the report “Spain and India: seeking stronger bilateral relations”, drafted by Rubén Campos, from Elcano Royal Institute, and Jayshree Sengupta, from the Observer Research Foundation, and sponsored by the Spain India Council Foundation at Instituto Cervantes in Delhi.

The report highlighted the infrastructure, railway, renewable energies and smart cities sectors as key to the development of Spanish companies in India, and emphasised the pharmaceutical industry and ICT as potential areas for Indian companies to succeed in Spain. More specifically, it pointed at desalination and water purification (by Abengoa and Eptisa, with the support of CDTI).

Relations between Spain and India, which celebrated their 60th anniversary in 2016, were, according to researcher Mario Esteban, “barely nominal” until the past few decades, when India’s economic growth attracted the whole world’s interest. As a consequence of the recent economic crisis, many Spanish companies sought to branch out internationally and settled in India. “We realised we have a lot in common in many areas,” said the researcher from Elcano Royal Institute.

Regarding water management, Charles Powell stated that Spain has a lot of experience in the area, “both among private companies and in the public sector.” Lara Lázaro emphasised, in turn, that Spain was one of the first countries to implement the water footprint and “there are Spanish companies with a lot of experience in this industry.”

Lara Lázaro gave the example of Acciona and Abengoa, companies which “have an outstanding technological level.” In this regard, Charles Powell suggested looking for Spanish companies that are interested in working in India, since the country set truly ambitious environmental commitments at COP 21 (the United Nations Climate Change Conference).

The work of institutions such as Elcano Royal Institute, as stated by Dinesh Kumar, “can be very useful” to implement efficiency criteria to reach those commitments. Spain-India relations have gained momentum, so much so that, as stated by Mario Esteban, the Institute is preparing an update of the relations between the two countries: “There is a huge gap between the image that people in each country have of the other and the potential of Spain-India relations.”

Report: 6th Indian Leaders Programme 2018

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