Businesses and organisations from Gran Canaria establish business links in Norway at Nor-Shipping, the largest European offshore industry event

A commercial delegation from Gran Canaria, comprising 15 businesspeople and public representatives travelled to the Nor-Shipping event in Norway to promote the Island to 130 investors from the shipping, logistics and port industries, and where 30 meetings were held.

The effort made to attend the event, one of Europe's most important for the shipping industry, falls within the actions taken by the brand Best in Gran Canaria and included representatives of the Gran Canaria Island Council (Cabildo) through its Corporation for the Economic Development of Gran Canaria, the Government of the Canary Islands, the Foreign Trade Institute, the Canary Islands Special Zone, the Las Palmas Port Authority, the Gran Canaria Chamber of Commerce and the Canary Islands Shipping Cluster.

Furthermore, the members of the delegation participated in the seminary "Business Opportunities in Spain", which was attended by over 60 Scandinavian investors and organisations and in which representatives of the Canary Islands Special Zone introduced the characteristics and importance of the shipping industry in the Canaries.

Three leading international companies, the British firm, Rolls-Royce, and two Norwegian firms, Otech and CCB Zamakona, have successfully set up their businesses in the Port of Las Palmas to offer their services to oil rigs, large cargo and passenger vessels and fishing trawlers. So much so that their managers have offered their testimonials, in various forums, to recommend investing and setting up business in Gran Canaria, not just because of its fiscal advantages, but because of its location, facilities, climate and people.

This mission to Norway represents an opportunity to promote the island to the strong shipping and North European Blue Economy industries and will help foster bilateral relations between Norway and Gran Canaria.

The brand Best in Gran Canaria

The brand Best in Gran Canaria, promoted by the Cabildo, comprises the Corporation for the Economic Development of Gran Canaria, the Government of the Canary Islands, the Government Representation Office, the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the Chamber of Commerce, Casa Africa, the Confederation of Canary Employers, the Las Palmas City Council, Ports of Las Palmas, the Foreign Trade Institute, the Free Trade Zone, the Shipping Cluster and the Canary Islands Special Zone (ZEC).

Its website http://localhost/bestingc/ introduces the island as the ideal place to thrive due to its tax and investment advantages and because it offers a privileged environment for business, owing to the great links with its port and airport, the safety of the destination, all the services on offer, whether to do with health or education, its great city and the world's best climate. In short, it is the ideal place to work and live, an advantageous combination scarce to come by in this world.

The SPEGC presented the lines of support and financial advice it offers to entrepreneurs and innovative businesses

The president of the Island Council of Gran Canaria (Cabildo), Antonio Morales, emphasised that over 75 entrepreneurs and businesspeople learnt about the new lines of support to entrepreneurs and innovative businesses that the Cabildo, through the Corporation for the Economic Development of Gran Canaria (SPEGC) and the Science and Technology Park Foundation of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, has developed to "boost diversification of the island's productive fabric".

Financial institutions such as Enisa, MicroBank and Banco Sabadell participated in this event and presented their various funding lines aimed both at entrepreneurs and innovative businesses.

Morales explained that over the past two years the Cabildo has been developing "a support policy for all the entrepreneurial initiatives that bring new business and try to innovate with their products and services, providing access to funding to promote RD&I".

The programmes for creation and speeding-up of projects, the advice and training service, the offer of incubation spaces and support for access to funding are services offered by the Cabildo aimed at the formation of businesses and entrepreneurs, and were developed with attention to detail by the managing director of the SPEGC, Cosme García Falcón.

The managing director of Enisa, Bruno Fernández Scrimieri, presented the Enisa Lines and Shareholder loans, for young entrepreneurs (under the age of 40), entrepreneurs (over the age of 40) with new business ideas and growing enterprises, also aimed at the sector which is starting out in business.

Joaquín Vega Marichal, CaixaNegocios and BusinessBank D.T. Canarias Specialist, provided all the details about MicroBank's Innovation Microcredit , aimed at funding innovative business projects initiated by entrepreneurs.

And the director of SMEs at Banco Sabadell, Daniel Bazán Lorenzo, explained the features of the BStartup Programme, aimed at supporting innovative entrepreneurs so that their projects may be developed with the best chances of success.

Services to innovative businesses

García Falcón explained that the SPEGC offers innovative businesses an "RD&I funding advice service, a training service, and from September 2017, a service of support to the growth and internationalisation of businesses".

All the entrepreneurs and businesspeople who wish to do so can find out about all these funding lines and receive advice on other matters through the SPEGC's Business Support Service (SAE), which will accompany those requesting this service throughout the process until applications are submitted to various financial institutions.

The regional councillor of Economic Development, Energy and RD&I of the Cabildo, Raúl Garciá Brink, closed the event by encouraging all attendees to obtain in-depth knowledge of the services offered by the Corporation for the Economic Development of Gran Canaria through its "Business Support Service, its training schemes and the work spaces it offers".

Over twenty Spanish ICT companies show interest in the benefits of setting up in Gran Canaria

The Gran Canaria Economic Promotion Society (SPEGC) and the Microsoft Global Sports Innovation Center held an event in which over twenty Spanish ICT companies showed interest in the pros of setting up business in Gran Canaria.

In this way, the Island Council (Cabildo) continues its strategy of promoting the island as a destination for investment and welcoming firms by means of its external brand “Best in Gran Canaria”, and with this in mind a delegation of the SPEGC went to Madrid to hold talks with possible investors.

The President of the Herbalife Gran Canaria Basketball Club, Miguel Angel Betancor, and the Director of the UD Las Palmas Football Club, Patricio Viñayo were present at “Innovation and Sport in Gran Canaria: opportunities for investment and business for start-ups and SMEs”, and shared their respective strategies for innovation with the firms that attended the event.

The Director of the SPEGC, Cosme Garcia, explained to those present the main reasons for setting up business in Gran Canaria and, to emphasise its innovative environment, spoke of its technological incubators, shared offices and work spaces, both public and private, and the island’s important tourist market, as well as its enviable quality of life.

He also remarked on the possibility of companies having access to “local talent, which is highly qualified on account of the wide-ranging offer of educational opportunities in Gran Canaria”.
The extensive range of fiscal incentives in the islands, and the instruments of public and private financing and other support for recruitment, training and research available in Gran Canaria were a further part of his address.

The representatives of several of the ICT firms that were present at the event were able to have personal and individual talks with both the representatives of the SPEGC and those of the Gran Canaria Basketball Club and UD Las Palmas Football Club.

Global Sports Innovation Center

The purpose of the Global Sports Innovation Center is to improve the chain of value of the sports industry and become a world leader by taking advantage of the most advanced technology and facilitating contact between all sorts of firms, from start-ups to consolidated medium and large-sized companies.

Located in the heart of Madrid, it offers technological services, solutions and programmes that satisfy the needs of all members of the public, including students, entrepreneurs, governments and industries. With this in mind, their facilities have areas to meet all their needs.


The ‘O&G Meeting Day’ in Gran Canaria gathers over 140 offshore industry professionals from 22 countries

On 16th and 17th March, the Stier Group, in collaboration with the Government of the Canary Islands, through the Canary Export Promotion Organisation, Proexca, and the Island Council for Gran Canaria (Cabildo), through the Gran Canaria Economic Promotion Society (SPEGC), will hold the O&G Meeting Day, a Forum on the Environment, Quality, Security, Occupational Health and Skills which will take place in the Canary Islands.

In a ceremony this morning, presented by the CEO of the Stier Group, Ida Stier, the Director General for Economic Affairs with Africa of the Canary Government and Managing Director of Proexca, Pablo Martin Carbajal, and the Director of the Gran Canaria Economic Promotion Society (SPEGC), Cosme Garcia Falcon, the importance of this forum, which will bring together in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria more than 140 representatives of the offshore sector from 22 countries, was highlighted. As many as 60% of the participants are consultants and investors who are in the islands to find out on the spot what business opportunities there may be.

The Canaries, a strategic enclave

The Managing Director of the SPEGC, Cosme Garcia Falcon, emphasised the importance that this international gathering will have in consolidating Gran Canaria as a destination for large multinationals from the offshore industry to invest in, and highlighted the potential of this activity for generating employment. Cosme Garcia also expressed his appreciation for the effort made by the Stier Group to ensure this One-day Meeting was held on the island. Garcia highlighted “the business commitment of such an example of success as the firm led by Ida Stier, to whom I am grateful for her unconditional support for Gran Canaria and her interest in diversifying the island’s economy”.

For the CEO of the Stier Group, Ida Stier, “the oil industry is going through a natural life cycle, facing new challenges and changes to adapt to market needs through collaboration, innovation and improvement of its efficiency. However, a reduction in activity could represent a risk for individuals, businesses and the environment, alongside the foreseeable consequence of future precarious skills which could lead us to inflation once the market has been reactivated”. In her opinion, this one-day Oil & Gas Meeting “will favour debates concerning the development of initiatives and will be a good chance to share ideas and experiences, and I hope that the Canary Islands will be at the forefront when the market is reactivated”.

Pablo Martín Carbajal underlined the fact that “the offshore sector is one of those with the greatest potential for growth in the Canary economy at present and is one of the priorities of the action aimed at internationalisation that the Canary Government is developing abroad, to make itself known as a hub and a platform for services with Africa”. In this context, Martin Carbajal recalled that in the last four years there have been various missions to the United States, where many of the leading offshore multinationals operating on the African continent are based and they have led to several firms linked to this sector setting up business in the Canary Islands.

This meeting, which is backed by the regional and local authorities, is a unique opportunity to debate vital aspects which will mark the future of this industry in the Canaries. The islands are a nexus between Europe, Africa and America and offer international businesses, apart from their privileged geostrategic position, technological, legal, social and health services to European standards, which are aspects demanded by the largest industries of the sector when selecting a particular place from which to develop their maintenance, repair, prospection, production and distribution operations.

The first O&G Meeting Day will be centred on five specific points: a day of talks by international speakers, a visit to the port installations, the General Assembly of OPITO Training Centres, an open day at the Stier Group Training Centre and training courses that will be offered by Atlas and the Stier Group.

The first session of the event, on Thursday 16th March, will be held at the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium and will be opened by the President of the Island Council, Antonio Morales, and the Regional Government’s Minister for Economy, Industry, Commerce and Knowledge, Pedro Ortega.

Noteworthy among the speakers are:

  • Eirini Konstantinou, Environmental Impact Assessment/Strategic Environmental Assessment Chief, from the Department of Environment in the Cypriot Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment.
  • Miguel Van Leeuwen Garcia, Executive Director of the Department for Health, the Environment and Security at Babcock MCS in Spain.
  • Christopher Wright, Area Manager-OPITO International Ltd Cyprus and auditor at OPITO Dubai International.
  • Onyebuchi C. Sibeudu, Director of Health, the Environment and Security at the Head Office Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Lagos, Nigeria.
  • Henry Adams, partner at Birketts LLP, International Maritime Department.
  • Amadi, President of the Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organization (OPITO) for Africa.
  • Claudio M. Lamas, founding partner of Islaw Abogados.
  • Pablo Martín Carbajal González, General Director of Africa Relations and CEO of PROEXCA, from the Canary Government;
  • Cosme Garcia Falcon, Managing Director of the Gran Canaria Economic Promotion Society (SPEGC).
  • Beatriz Barrera Vera, President of the Consortium of the Canary Islands Special Zone (ZEC).

The addresses will deal with prevention and safety in offshore operations; OPITO International: OPITO training to achieve the target of a zero accident rate, safety and hygiene at work; safety culture and helicopters; and the case of the development of O&G in Cyprus.

This first forum will complement the specialised training courses to be held as from 13th March within the framework of the XV Meeting in Gran Canaria of the General Assembly of OPITO Training Centres, an event held twice a year.

O&G Meeting Day, in cooperation with Proexca’s brand, Canary Island European Business Hub in Africa, and that of SPEGC, Best in Gran Canaria, will permit a real view of the current methods and evaluation procedures through the contributions of firms that are leaders in the sectors, lawyers, insurers and training centres.

The First O & G Meeting Day will be sponsored by the Canary Government and the Gran Canaria Island Council (Cabildo), with the backing of the Las Palmas Port Authority, Casa Africa, and the firms CCB Zamakona and Albatros Maritimos.

In Casa Africa leaders from multilateral organisations call for more preventive diplomacy to avoid conflicts in Sub-Saharan Africa

Yesterday, the International Meeting on Preventive Diplomacy in Sub-Saharan Africa was held at Casa Africa, Las Palmas. The meeting was opened by Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, Vice-president of the Spanish Government; Catherine Samba Panza, former president of the Central African Republic, Pedro Ortega, Regional Minister of Economy, Industry, Commerce and Knowledge Management of the Canary Government, Augusto Hidalgo, Mayor of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Luis Padron, Director General of Casa Africa, attended the ceremony.

As the Vice-president of the Government stated in her opening comments, preventive diplomacy includes those mechanisms and instruments aimed at avoiding focal points of tension developing into open conflict, with incalculable human and material costs and social rupture that take years to heal. The prevention of conflicts covers an ample spectrum of action, from classic diplomacy to development policies, as well as prevention of extremism and gender policies.

Diplomacy based on prevention is one of the pillars of the mandate of the current Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres. During its time in the Security Council, recently concluded, Spain has made promotion and development of preventive diplomacy one of its greatest priorities. This meeting follows upon the meeting concerning preventive diplomacy in the Mediterranean, held at Casa Mediterraneo, Alicante, in June 2016.

In the meeting at Casa Africa there were personalities of great political relevance in Africa, such as the aforementioned Catherine Samba Panza, whose role has been crucial in the political transition of her country, or the journalist and holder of the Principe de Asturias Prize for Concorde, Caddy Adzuba.

Other high-ranking officials from the United Nations and the European Union also participated, as well as leading figures in African multilateralism, representing the following regional organisations: the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the East African Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and G5-Sahel. The contribution to the debates by the former Vice-president of Government and current President of the Women for Africa Foundation, Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, is also worthy of mention.

Work was organised by means of three panels in which the following matters, respectively, were discussed: diplomacy for peace and prevention of violent extremism; the role of women to achieve peace in Africa; and the role of the African multilateral organisations for peace and development. During these sessions the role of preventive diplomacy was noted as guarantor of peace and stability in a region which is growing and integrating, but which is still subject to enormous political, economic and ethnic tensions.

At the end of the debates, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Ildefonso Castro, read out the conclusions which contained concrete proposals made by the panellists to boost the efficiency of these mechanisms. In his concluding words, the Secretary of State underlined the commitment of Spain to preventive diplomacy, the results of which are ever more visible thanks to the efforts and dedication of people such as the participants in this conference, and he indicated that in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria “we have opened a pathway – that of knowledge of preventive diplomacy in Sub-Saharan Africa - which is set to last”.

The global animation industry learnt of the pros of setting up in Gran Canaria at the Kidscreen Summit in Miami

A delegation from the Gran Canaria Economic Promotion Society (SPEGC) and the Gran Canaria Film Commission participated in the Kidscreen Summit in Miami, an important kids entertainment event, with the object of putting the island on the map of animation productions.

The Kidscreen Summit, held at the InterContinental Hotel in Miami, is one of the most important gatherings of that sector in the American market, in this case, centring on animation aimed at children. This was a date that brought together creators of content, distributors, media, professionals and more than 50 animation industry producers from all over the world.

During his speech, the Managing Director of the SPEGC, Cosme Garcia Falcon, was able to explain the possibilities that Gran Canaria offers for the animation sector, based on the incentives, locations and available local talent.

The response of the producers to these advantageous conditions for setting up business on the island was excellent and many of them wanted more details in the more than 20 individual professional meetings that took place after this speech by Cosme Garcia at the Kidscreen Summit.

The Director of the SPEGC stressed that a large number of these producers emphasised the “importance of qualified local professionals with talent when deciding to set up business on the island”, though they also took into account the quality of life and cost of living in Gran Canaria.

“We have found that Gran Canaria may have possibilities for attracting new companies from the animation sector to the island, but that we must continue along the lines of work already set out such as training, talent and locations, as well as the fiscal incentives which, when compared with other destinations, is pretty competitive”, Garcia Falcon concluded.

It should be noted that the delegation from Gran Canaria took advantage of the promotion campaign and the international positioning of Anima Kitchent, a business established in Gran Canaria, where it is building up its series, Familia Telerin, among others. Anima Kitchent was one of the sponsors of the event and made the most of its outstanding role to promote its series and defend the challenge that the island has set itself of boosting the animation industry. The Kidscreen Summit has been, without a doubt, the perfect showcase for promoting Gran Canaria in this sector of the animation industry.

Attracting new filming to the Island, the objective of the Gran Canaria Film Commission in the 2017 “Berlinale”

The Delegates representing the Gran Canaria Film Commission travel to Berlin to participate in the European Film Market of its 67th Film Festival with the aim of attracting new filming and of making 2017 a great year as regards film productions in the island.

During their stay at the Berlinale, the GCFC will have meetings with different professionals. The European Film Market brings together more than 550 firms from the film industry and more than 9000 professionals from 110 countries who take advantage of this opportunity in Berlin to strengthen and improve their positions within the film industry.

The EFM is without doubt one of the most important markets for the industry and the perfect showcase for attracting national and international filming, which is the main aim of the strategy laid out by the Gran Canaria Island Council (Cabildo).

Bringing to the island new and important filmings, as has been happening over the last few years, is part of the strategy that endeavours to turn Gran Canaria into and consolidate its position as a territory of reference for the international audiovisual sector.

The presence of the Gran Canaria Film Commission at this important festival and market for cinematography and the construction of film sets next to the Infecar area form the plan set out by the Cabildo to boost a sector, that of film productions, which gives added value, high employment opportunities and is low impact.

At the professional meetings that the Gran Canaria Film Commission will hold in Berlin, it will not just promote the island as a great natural set, but other attractions, too, for film productions, such as the fiscal incentives available, its local talent, natural conditions and legal security for businesses and individuals.

Over 400 films will be shown at the Berlinale, meeting its objective of showing a broad overview of world cinema. The Berlin Festival is an A-Class festival, accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) together with the Cannes and Venice Festivals.

Gran Canaria in Bordeaux to participate in the Cartoon Movie, the most important European rendezvous for animation and gaming

A delegation from the Gran Canaria Film Commission travelled to the French city of Bordeaux to hold twenty professional meetings at the Cartoon Movie Fair, considered the most important event for animation film and the gaming industry.

The gathering at Bordeaux will bring together, from Wednesday 8th March, more than 750 professionals from 35 countries who will see over 50 animation projects created in Europe. Cartoon Movie is a co-production and project presentation forum for animated feature films organised by the Cartoon studios, an American company that produces cartoons for television and which, with the firm of Hanna Barbera, created the animated series of the Flintstones and Scooby Doo.

The aim of the meetings organised by the Gran Canaria Film Commission is for companies in the industry to begin to operate on the island, taking advantage not only of Gran Canaria’s fiscal incentives, but its quality of life, climate and surroundings.

The Island Council (Cabildo) is attending this forum following the plan set up to boost this industry, as it has already had successes with Anima Kitchent, with which it went to the Kids Screen Summit in Miami one month ago, where they held a further 20 meetings with companies that showed an interest in the advantages of setting up business in Gran Canaria.

The next professional gathering for the Gran Canaria Film Commission will be in Paris from 18th to 21st March to attend the Series Mania Festival, considered one of the main events for European TV series to find co-producers.

ICEX organises the conference to present the Invest in Spain Programme for Aid to Investment for Foreign Businesses in R+D activities

The delegation of the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX) in Las Palmas is organising the conference to present the Invest in Spain Programme for Aid to Investment for Foreign Businesses in R+D activities, 2017. It will take place on Thursday 16th March at the Las Palmas Territorial Trade Directorate, at C/ Franchy y Roca, 5, 3ª planta, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

During this conference information will be given about the latest convening of the Invest in Spain Programme for Aid to Investment for Foreign Businesses in R+D, the aim of which is for foreign capital businesses already established or intending to start up in Spain to develop new R+D activities.

The amount of aid could reach an overall maximum of 200,000 Euros per beneficiary during any period in three consecutive financial years and will be a percentage of the investment made.
Attendance at this workshop is free. Registration of businesses can be made via the following link in strict order until all seats are filled:

Information and Registration for the ICEX Las Palmas Conference – 16th March

For further information please ring +34 900 349 000.