The Canary Islands Special Zone (ZEC) has reached 690 companies after a good year 2020 for the Consortium in which 102 new entities were registered, so it has opted for the promotion to repower the tool and be able to develop to its full capacity.

This has been reported this Wednesday by the president of the Canary Islands Special Zone (ZEC), Pablo Hernández, the vice president of the entity, María José Miranda, and the acting director of the Agencies of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas del Consorcio, Alejandro Cañeque, during the presentation of the report of the financial year of last year and a preview of the closing of the Strategic Plan 2014-2020.

In this sense, Hernández has called 2020 a “good year” for the Consortium despite the pandemic, which is why he highlighted the work carried out by the team prior to his arrival to the Presidency.

During the past year, 102 entities were registered in the ZEC with a commitment to create employment of 1,045 positions and an investment commitment of 87 million euros. With these data, the Consortium currently has 690 registered entities with 10,202 jobs and an investment of 1,127 million euros.

Here, the president recalled that, as for companies registered in 2020, it will take between two and five years to achieve full performance in their operations, since the process to be part of the ZEC requires that they first ask to register, then they register without being operating and finally start operating taking into account the maturity periods – from two to five years – to reach their maximum performance.

However, in 2020 there was a predominance of a majority foreign capital – Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Iceland and Lithuania -, highlighting the information and communication sectors, the wholesale trade and the audiovisual sector.

FROM 420 TOTAL COMPANIES IN 2014 TO 690 IN 2020

In the accumulated period of 2014-2020 there is a sustained increase in companies, going from the 60 created in 2014 to 102 last year, growing from the 420 total in 2014 to 690 in 2020.

By provinces, the president of the ZEC commented that they are balanced although the type of companies is different, with twice the investment in Las Palmas but in employment it is slightly higher in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

IT HAS GOED FROM 3,674 JOBS IN 2014 TO 8,204

Hernández observed that, regarding the impact on the Canarian economy of the data for the 2014-2020 period, the ZEC has doubled the number of jobs (from 3,674 jobs at the beginning of the period to the current 8,204) and the active entities were 223 at the beginning and 249 at the end of 2019 – data for 2019 because 2020 has not yet been declared in corporate tax.

Regarding the size of the companies, those with more than 20 workers have gone from 31 to 98 during the period; and those with more than 50 employees from eight to 27; As for the net amount of the turnover, it went from 905 million to 1,359 million euros in 2019 – the 2020 corporate tax has not yet been settled.

By turnover, the ZEC entities that invoice between 10 and 20 million euros have risen from eleven in 2014 to 20 in 2019; those that invoice between 20 and 60 million have gone from five to thirteen; and those of more than 60 million have gone from two to three.

“With these data we can already outline which sectors are performing better (ICTs, animation, renewables …) and try to attract a mediated company profile that contributes to the diversification of the Canarian economy,” he said.

Finally, the president of the ZEC advocated that in the future it is necessary to promote what has been done well and improve what can be done. “It is true that 20 years have passed since the creation of the Consortium, it is walking on a good path and it must be re-empowered. We have one of the best instruments in Europe, but we have to give it more impetus and develop it to its full capacity ”, he explained.

“IT HAS BEEN DIFFICULT TO KEEP THE RATE OF ATTRACTION”

For his part, the acting director of the Agencies of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas del Consorcio, Alejandro Cañeque, has highlighted the effort of the ZEC, since “it has been difficult to maintain the rhythm of attracting projects in a year so complicated”.

“The transition to a promotion and remote management was made with the commitment of all the people who make up the Consortium,” he said, adding that the pandemic has forced ten years to advance in concepts such as teleworking, virtual meetings or remote management .

However, he has emphasized that it has been learned and demonstrated that it is possible to attract projects and follow up in a virtual way.

PROMOTION AS ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL AXES

Meanwhile, the vice president of the entity, María José Miranda, pointed out that the promotion is one of the axes of action of the ZEC with the aim of publicizing the tax incentive in foreign markets and with a strategy linked to the selection of markets and sectors.

“We are working,” he continued, “to identify new markets that may present new opportunities for attracting and to retain those markets that already have direct foreign investment flows to the Canary Islands and that it is very important to maintain.”

In this sense, he explained that markets that already make an investment in a foreign market have a tendency to reinvest and expand their business in this market if it works well.

“We are working on a promotion plan that is capable of collecting the benefits and peculiarities of the Canarian territory. Our REF already includes not only the insularity, but the double insularity of the non-capital islands. We want to develop a plan where each of the islands has a leading role linked to its benefits ”, he concluded.

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