Spanish high-tech exports

Spanish high-tech exports

Fecha: julio 2020

Ramon Xifré

COVID-19, Exportaciones, Alta tecnología

SEFO, Spanish and International Economic & Financial Outlook, V. 9 N.º 4

The COVID-19 crisis highlights the importance of a robust science and technology base in a country. One way of measuring this is by analysing exports of hightech products. Looking at export intensity of high-tech products, Spain ranks 25th out of the 27 EU member states and in terms of net trade, it is the country with the highest deficit in this product category among the four major EU economies. From 2008 to 2013, high-tech imports fell by close to 30% (in a context of rising exports). However, between 2013 until 2018, this category of imports increased by 45%, pointing to certain shortcomings in the national high-tech product manufacturing sector. While it is tempting to draw a connection between investment in R&D and export intensity in high-tech products, data analysis indicates there is no linear relationship between the two variables. Unsurprisingly, Spain trades more with its EU than its non-EU partners. By sector, Spanish high-tech exports are dominated by the aerospace and chemistry industries, while electronics and telecommunications dominate on the import side. Given the importance of high-tech exports for national science and knowledge, it is crucial that Spain improves these indicators.

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