The Balearic government wants to attract more foreign investment to the islands, offering in exchange “great business opportunities,” according to Joan Mesquida, the finance minister. He was speaking after a meeting with representatives of various sectors at which he and government leader Francesc Antich exchanged impressions with members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of financial entitites and the heads of consultancies, to analyse the socio-economic reality of the archipelago. According to Mesquida, the Balearics offer good business propsects, as the islands have the lowest unemployment figures (half the national average), the highest percentage of companies per 1'000 inhabitants (80 compared to the average of 64 for the country as a shole) and high consumer expenditure because of high incomes. At the meeting, Antich and Mesquida presented a new publication in four languages (Spanish, Catalan, English and German) which provides an in-depth analysis of the strategic situation of the Balearics in the current international context. It will be available on the internet. The publication, Baleares, Una Economía Productiva (The Balearics, a Productive Economy), provides information on communications and transport, political and administrative organisation, history and culture, population, evolution of the economy, innovation, the environment, commerce, prices and the finance sector among other aspects. It says that the keys to the future of tourism are the change in preferences of holidaymakers, who now want greater environmental quality and a cultural offer, a preference for solo travel rather than organised tours, and the islands' capacity to compete. As to industry, it stresses the facilities for access to new technologies, the development of internet marketing, sustained growth in income and quality products. It also touches on the farming sector, pointing to the recovery of native breeds of animals, improvements to farm management and a greater demand for organic products.


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