Spain is a located in south Western Europe and bordered by, Bay of Biscay, Atlantic Ocean, and Pyrenees Mountain and Mediterranean seas. Spain covers an area of 504,782km2 of which only 5240 km2 is water. It has a population of 47 million with its capital being Madrid which harbors a population of 3.3 million. Its climate is temperate with hot summers in the interior of country and the coast is moderate and cloudier. Winters are cloudy and cold along the coastal line and the interior is cold.
There are three distinct ethnic groups in Spain, namely Catalans, Galician’s and Basques. The population is predominantly Roman Catholic who constitutes 75% and 25% are Protestants and Muslims. In terms of religion, minority religions share 25%. The Islamic religion was supreme for over 400 years, in this period a significant in civilization was evidenced. Muslims also implemented on freedom of religion worship which led to growth of Jewish religion. Jews grew in numbers during this reign. When Catholics became the main part of the population, Muslims and Jews were ordered to embrace Christianity, failure to which they would be expelled from the country (Payne, 2011).
In the present times, Spain like any other European countries is deviating from religion. This is depicted in Spain allowing same sex marriage which is not accepted by the ancient Roman Catholic Church. The priests are also asking doctors not to be involved in abortions if they are true catholic followers.
Spain’s culture is European with different influences, mainly pre roman cultures. The pre roman cultures include the Iberian and Celtic cultures mainly. During 711 AD Muslim influence on the Spanish culture was evident mostly linguistically. Jewish influence was also evident during earlier times, but when Christians were finally defeated, the Roman Catholic ruled entirely. Roman Catholic was not the final influence on Spain. In recent times, due to modernization the Spaniards have embraced cultural diversity (Bowen, 2006).
Spanish also referred to as Castilian is the official language spoken by 74% population, Catalan – Valencia 17%, Galician 7% and finally Basque 2%. Catalan is mostly spoken in Catalonia. Catalans, closely related to Catalonia is spoken in the Valencia region. Catalonia is widely spoken while Basque is spoken by Euskadi who occupy the Spanish Basque country. This is to say that the key business language is the official language which is Spanish.
Like any other society before conducting a business one has to put an effort on the appearance and make to look great. This way even your business colleagues get interested in what you will be offering or they will be ready to accept you to be one of them. The Spaniards believe in doing business with people they personally know. Thus before conducting business, they spend ample time together familiarizing with each other and creating a personal connection.
Spain also has beauty or tourist attraction sites like any other country. These sites include beach resorts, hospitable people, mysterious monuments, exotic islands and sumptuous foods and drinks. El Museo Del Prado is Spain’s most visited tourist attraction site, an art museum which harbors over 8000 paintings. The museum features works of art of Goya, Titian, Boticelli Raphael and Elgreco. The Alhambra located in Granada region built by the moors and recognized as the UNESCO world Heritage site. Emir palace, the general life gardens and Placio Nazares are the main sites to visit in the Alhambra which gets an average of over 2 million visitors an year. It is by far the most popular tourist attraction in the nation of Spain.
Spanish festivals which include San Fermin festival, music festival, Barcelona summer festival, Semana Grande festival, Ta Tomatina and Fiesta De Las Fallas are all carnivore festivals which are a must attend once one plans on touring the country. Tourism resorts and islands like Malaga and Alicate are good sites to visit to begin with. Malaga has fantastic beaches, La Alcazaba built by moors and breathtaking architectural delights of Malaga cathedral. Here one will be able to check wonderful beaches and the various festivals happening there.
Spain economy is the 13th prevalent in the world. Its per capita income is roughly similar to that of France and Germany. Spain’s economy grew at an above average GDP for 15 years and started slowing down at the end of the year 2007. In 2008, the economy the recession resulted in the GDP contracting by 3.7 % in 2009. This ended the 16 year trend in economy growth. The economy contracted by another 0.2 % in the year 2010 but it eventually recovered from the global recession. During this period, even with government intervention, the unemployment rate rose from 8% to 20 %.the banks in Spain have exposed themselves to the collapsing construction and real estate sector which was worrying. The main source of revenue in the country comes from the services sector followed by the sector dealing with industrial with the agricultural sector 3.3%. The services sector shares 70.7% and the industrial sector is 26%. Residents living below poverty line as by 2005 was 19.8%.
In the Spanish business protocol and etiquette they always want to carry out their business with people they know and people they know they can trust. They spend time with their colleagues getting a chance to know them (Hobbs, 2008). Having person relationship with your contemporaries is important than that of the company. Because in case you are laid off by your company your colleagues who you had a good relationship with will always be there to help you out. Doing business in person communication is always preferred to any other form of communication such as telephone. Modesty is always observed when talking about your achievements and accomplishments. One is advised to avoid confrontation with the Spanish because they do not like to be corrected publicly. The main foundation for your business success is friendship and trust with your colleague.
In business negotiations they place value in character of the individual they are doing the business with and one should know that hierarchy and rank are of importance in this country. In the case of meeting, appointments are compulsory, should always be booked in advance and reconfirmed in writing a week to day of the meeting. Mostly during the first meetings almost no business is conducted. It is a necessity to have print outs of what you are proposing. Meetings solely are for exchanging ideas, no decisions are made at that instant. At arrival leave one of your translated business cards with the receptionist. Being smart is a necessity so you have to dress up in a stylish way yet conservative at the same time.
The cost of living in any country is dependent on an individual’s way of life. However, the cost of living in Spain is higher compared to the United Kingdom’s and other European countries. This is due to the cost of basic commodities being above the continent’s average. For example the cost of electricity is 20% higher in Spain than in the United Kingdom all factors held constant. Water and gas expenses are higher by similar margins (Harrison, 2004).
Spain has a labor force of 23 .09 million as of the year 2010. The country’s biggest assets are the workforce/ human. Higher education is a requirement for every student to attain, where they acquire their different skills. Job opportunities for qualified personnel are readily available in Spain.
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