According to Ineca, the Alicante Institute of Economic Studies, only 28% of industrialists believe that the province is ready for the consequences of the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU
It is said that uncertainty and restlessness abound when Alicante businessmen are asked about the impact of Brexit on the provincial economy, given that the British are preferred customer’s in many of the major sectors, such as footwear, agri-food, construction and tourism.
“The is still a great deal of instability, because the terms are unknown and the fine print of the divorce settlement is still not known, a situation that delays business decision-making”, says the director of Estudios de Ineca, Francisco Llopis.
The concern has been dragging on for over two years since the British voted in favour of the UK leaving the EU. But, now, employers are more aware of the final outcome of the negotiations, after the recent pre-agreement between both parties. This is reflected in a survey conducted by the Institute of Economic Studies of Alicante (Ineca) among a hundred provincial entrepreneurs, which reveals that 92% of industrialists believe the economic impact of the British withdrawal “may be more negative in Alicante Province than anywhere else across the rest of the EU.
But the most revealing data, is that “only 28% of respondents believe that the economy of Alicante is prepared to face the consequences of Brexit.” A figure that Ineca considers “very worrying”, given the proximity of the divorce (March 2019, although the recent pre-agreement reached provides for an extension until the end of 2020). And, although the details of the exit are not yet known, “the institutions must try to anticipate scenarios to minimize the effects,” the study states.
87.9% of respondents believe that the Generalitat should implement measures to reduce that impact. In addition, Ineca considers it necessary to promote forums to analyse the effects of the disconnection, “and to propose measures to reduce risks and optimise opportunities,” said Ballester. The possible tariffs and the fluctuations of the pound are two of the aspects that most concern the exporters.
For footwear, the United Kingdom is a priority market, given that it is among the five main destinations, according to Marián Cano, president of the Valencian Footwear Association (Avecal). And for housing developers, the British are the Province’s biggest client, among foreign buyers.