While the central Spanish region of Castilla-La Mancha is further away from Ukraine than other European locations, the war’s economic impact is being felt on the ground. Patricia Franco Jimenez, Castilla-La Mancha’s regional minister for economy, tells fDi about the need for Europe to co-operate to become more self-sufficient.

Q: How are the supply chains and inflationary pressures impacting Castilla-La Mancha?

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A: It has an impact on the whole world. Of course, it has an impact in Spain and Castilla-La Mancha. It is not a very stable situation in terms of the economy. But investment opportunities are on the market and we have to focus on that right now. We have to be more competitive in terms of energy and how this is affecting industry. This is something we are talking about in Europe and also with the Spanish government.

In terms of green energy, Castilla-La Mancha is at the top in the whole Spanish market. This is something we have to do as we need to have more self-sufficiency. In terms of the natural resources and value chains, not only in Castilla La Mancha and Spain, but across the whole of Europe, we have learned from the bad experiences because of Covid-19. 

Q: How has the war in Ukraine impacted Castilla-La Mancha?

A: It is impacting a lot and creating instability. Russia’s war against Ukraine is bad for the economy in global terms and especially bad for the people suffering in Ukraine. There is a huge impact on many raw materials, such as those used in farming in our region, and an increase in energy costs for companies that is impacting the region and the whole country.

In terms of commercial relationships between Castilla-La Mancha and both Ukraine and Russia, it is not a very big market for us. Last year, there were combined exports of about €18m from our region to Russia and Ukraine, compared with total exports from Castilla-La Mancha of more than €9bn. 

This article first appeared in the April/May 2022 print edition of fDi Intelligence. View a digital edition of the magazine here.