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“El español en los flujos económicos internacionales (Spanish in International Economic Flows)” published in the Fundación Telefónica / Ariel collection, indicates that the purchasing power of the great Spanish-speaking condominium represents 9% of the world’s GDP
Madrid, 24 April 2012.- Trade between two countries increases by 300% if they both belong to the pan-Hispanic community of nations and share Spanish as a language, according to the book by Juan Carlos Jiménez and Aránzazu Narbona, El español en los flujos económicos internacionales (Spanish in International Economic Flows), a new addition to the Fundación Telefónica / Ariel Collection.
The study, which indicates that the purchasing power of the vast Spanish-speaking condominium represents 9% of the world’s GDP, defines our language as a broad “economic bridge”, connecting not only the vast American subcontinent, but also both sides of the Atlantic, with Spain at the forefront.
The book is published within the context of the project “El valor económico del español: una empresa multinacional (Economic Value of Spanish: a Multinational Company)”, launched in 2006, and was presented at the Instituto Cervantes by Víctor García de la Concha, Director of the institute; Javier Nadal, Executive Vicepresident of Fundación Telefónica; José Luis García Delgado, co-director of the project and professor of Applied Economics at the Complutense University of Madrid; Juan Carlos Jiménez, co-author of the book, co-director of the project and tenured lecturer of Applied Economics at the University of Alcalá, and Emilio Ontiveros, chairman of AFI and professor of Economics at the Autonomous University of Madrid.
This is the first time in which Spanish is targeted by an economic study based on a sufficiently representative sample: the book analyzes the results of the gravitational model of 51 countries, 11 of which are Spanish speaking. The authors conclude that Spanish is a powerful commercial exchange booster in the world, in a percentage higher than English among English-speaking countries, as it helps lower transaction an information costs, in a way similar to a common currency.
Spanish, a key factor of economic rapprochement
On the other hand, Spanish helps to narrow psychological gaps, encouraging economic and migratory movements within a large linguistic condominium with nearly 450 million speakers, its essential asset. In fact, to assess the value of Spanish, it is necessary to consider its multiplying effects over large migratory, trade and capital flows.
The book, in its different chapters, covers subjects such as Spanish purchasing power, its capacity as an economic rapprochement agent, the significance of the language as a determining factor for bilateral flows, or the interrelationship between language and direct investment. In the same way as a common currency does, a shared language has the property of broadening markets, and facilitating transactions by both reducing their costs and narrowing psychological gaps, thus encouraging all types of economic movements, fro international investments, direct or portfolio, to migratory movements themselves.
Juan Carlos Jiménez and Aránzazu Narbona have built and developed an analytical basis to explain the differential value of Spanish as a major language for international communication, based on the research of its multiplying effects over large direct-investment flows and international trade flows. If sharing a language means, at a worldwide trade level, a multiplying factor of almost 190% for transactions between the countries that share it, applying it within the pan-Hispanic community of nations increases bilateral trade between them almost by 300% (even more than English among English-speaking countries). As regards Direct Foreign Investment (DFI), sharing a language triplicates the direct investment flows between the countries that share it.
Furthermore, Spanish adds a multiplying effect, thanks to its essential quality as a club asset. Another element that helps perceive the true measure of a language’s value is its international relevance, and in this aspect Spanish is only second to English, ahead of Chinese, thanks to its cosmopolitanism.
A language is an asset that does not wear out with use; on the contrary, the more people use it, the more valuable and useful it becomes. In addition, its differential value depends on the number of speakers and their economic level, which determine the intensity of their exchanges and the economic power of a language as compared to other languages: this is an essential asset of Spanish, being a major language for international communication
Spanish is an asset that brings several hundred million people closer, which translated into increased levels of commercial exchange between countries; it is also a useful work tool, both for international companies, which operate and engage in business without linguistic barriers in at least twenty countries, and for hundreds of thousands of migrants.
It is also a language that has a direct boosting effect on highly dynamic industries – cultural and teaching industries in particular, followed by telecommunications –, in the current world, a source of wealth and employment.