Part of complete coverage on
Spanish exports are bright spark for economy
September 6, 2013 -- Updated 0927 GMT (1727 HKT)
- Spain's small businesses are being warned they must "export or die"
- Many are turning to new markets to kickstart the eurozone's fourth largest economy
- Eurostat calculates Spain's exports will rise 4.1% this year, after rising 2.1% in 2012
(CNN) -- Spain's small businesses are being warned they must "export or die" as the country remains mired in recession.
Spain -- the eurozone's fourth largest economy -- is suffering as the bloc's financial crisis drags into its fourth year.
Now, small businesses are looking to overseas markets in an effort to kick-start growth. Their efforts are showing up in official statistics: Eurostat calculates exports will rise 4.1% this year, after a 2.1% increase in 2012.
Eurostar boss: 'State of the art' fleet set to grow European rail market
Antonio Barroso, senior vice president at Teneo Intelligence, told CNN Spain's small and medium-sized businesses, known as SMEs, are being forced to look outward as domestic demand drops.
"I think exports are crucial for the Spanish recovery," Barroso said. "[SMEs] can potentially become one of the main engines of the Spanish economy."
Read more: Royal Delft: The Netherland's true blue pottery makers
Antonio Roldan, a European analyst at Eurasia Group, told CNN small businesses have no choice but to "export or die."
The country's exports are outpacing countries including Germany, Roldan noted, adding the country's lower labor costs have helped boost the industry.
The Port of Barcelona, in North East Spain, is one spot where the export drive can be seen. The Port is the country's third-largest container dock, behind Valencia and Algeciras, and handles imports and exports for nearly 3000 companies, representing a combined turnover of 300 billion euros [$393 billion].
Read more: Model trains and planes motor their way back home
Roldan said the port, through which a fifth of all Spanish external trade is channeled, has become a vital artery for the economy.
The Port employs over 13,000 people and claims on its website that for every two jobs it creates, three additional jobs are generated in the economy as a whole.
"Together with El Prat Airport [the transport hubs] make the largest trade pole in the South of Europe, Roldan said. "[The Port's] economic relevance has been increasing since the crisis started."
However, the SMEs remain only a small part of Spain's economy, Barrosso noted. "They are not enough: despite the significant increase in exports, they still only account for 33% of the Spanish GDP."
Part of complete coverage on
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1049 GMT (1849 HKT)
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
British journalist John Cantlie hadn't been seen in nearly two years. Now, he's the latest hostage to be paraded out by ISIS.
The burial leader. The hospital gatekeeper. The disease detective. All telling powerful, stories from West Africa.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 2303 GMT (0703 HKT)
Alibaba's IPO is unlike anything investors have ever seen and could threaten other online retailers. Maggie Lake reports.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 0130 GMT (0930 HKT)
Indian PM Narendra Modi has said al Qaeda will fail if it seeks to spread its terror network into his country.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1201 GMT (2001 HKT)
Put yourself in the shoes (and sixth-century black robes) of ISIS' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the mysterious boss of the terror group.
September 20, 2014 -- Updated 1444 GMT (2244 HKT)
Asia's first grand slam singles champion Li Na has called time on her 15-year tennis career.
Jenson Button has some of quickest reactions ever shown at an advanced sports lab.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1124 GMT (1924 HKT)
Creative companies with quirky ideas find new lending models advantageous.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1409 GMT (2209 HKT)
Even death couldn't part two skeletons excavated from a lost chapel in an English county, found with their fingers entwined.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
Today's five most popular stories