The Canary Islands, a strategic bridge

The Canary Islands: A Strategic Bridge between Africa and America

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Location and infrastructures

The location of the Canary Islands, geopolitically in Europe but right next door to the African continent, has led the business sector in America to show interest in them as a platform for attracting investment towards Africa.

The geographical position of this archipelago to the south of the Iberian Peninsula and its port and airport infrastructure is ideal for operating in markets on the west coast of Africa, and for this reason the growth in commercial interaction between the Canary Islands and Africa is now appreciable in transactions to and from the United States and certain countries in Latin America.

Its eight airports, six of them international, make this the Spanish autonomous community with the largest number of public airports. The islands are linked to Africa, just 100 kilometres away, by 74 flights per week and 11 commercial ports.

In addition, the extra factor that increasingly gives them a strategic edge is the technologically specialised nature of the companies located in the islands, whose telecommunications infrastructure, including undersea cables, makes them one of the best-connected archipelagos in the world.

Tax benefits

International transactions in the Canaries are backed by European legal and economic security, but with interesting additional advantages for companies:

The favourable economic framework of the Canary Islands is enhanced by having been declared an ultra-peripheral region of the European Union, their fiscal status outside the VAT area, and the Canary Islands Special Zone or ZEC (a European low-tax-rate area designed to promote the economic development of the islands and diversify their production structure).

African Partnership

More than 180 Canarian companies are already operating in African countries, bringing their experience to bear not only in the tourism, services and construction sectors but increasingly in setting up technological infrastructure in such wide-ranging fields as water treatment, applied engineering, renewable energy, software development, telecommunications, and so on.

The Canaries and America

Ever since their role in the discovery of America the islands have been turning their gaze across the Atlantic, and they were an essential staging post on the trade routes between America and Europe — already a bridge between the New World and the Old. That was the start of the cross-fertilisation consolidated centuries later with the waves of migration from the Canaries to the new continent, with the result that Canarian and Latin American culture have been visibly linked down to our own time.

Their location and historical relationships make the Canary Islands the ideal geostrategic space for tricontinental relations between America, Europe and Africa, and consequently their businesses are the ideal partners for American companies seeking to invest in Africa.

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