SHANGHAI, China – Numerous Chinese firms with interests in Spain, among them real estate agencies that offer houses to Chinese citizens in the country, are concerned over the politically unstable situation in Catalonia, the head counselor of Spain’s Office for Economic and Commercial Affairs in Shanghai told EFE on Monday.
Alfonso Noriega said that in recent weeks they had received several calls from companies concerned over the issue, the region became embroiled in a political war over its independence bid.
“Today we are in a situation of uncertainty and we understand that this affects decision-making by economic operators and people, but it is certain that within this uncertainty the government is taking adequate steps to restore legality in Catalonia,” said the counselor.
Noriega, who believed that things would go back to normal after the region held elections in December, also said that number of queries from Catalan firms wanting to export to China had decreased.
The counselor further said that real estate was among the sectors witnessing significant instability since the interest of Chinese citizens for buying properties in Spain, and especially Catalonia, had been dwindling.
The sales wing of the Spanish real estate firm Gold Millenium Group told EFE in Shanghai that fewer Chinese citizens were buying houses in Spain, especially in Barcelona.
Moreover, Chinese immigration agencies that act as intermediaries in the sale of apartments to Chinese citizens were focusing more on other European countries such as Greece and Portugal instead of Spain, according to the real estate firm.
Noriega said that concerns had been expressed even by the education sector; during an education fair in Shanghai over the weekend, much concern was expressed for Chinese students hoping to go to Spain.