- Access to finance
- Response to COVID-19
- Support of internationalisation
- Support of SMEs
Fondo para la Internacionalización de la Empresa (FIEM)
Fund for the internationalisation of the company (FIEM)
Enterprises that want to start exporting or expand business by enlarging their commercial networks or establish production units abroad.
FIEM was regulated by law no. 11/2010 of 28 June, to reform the system of financial support of internationalisation. FIEM offers finance (credits to invest abroad or to conduct export activities and subsidies for consultancy, assessment or technical assistance) for Spanish companies abroad, like export operations. The public funds are combined with private funds supported through a state guarantee.
FIEM offers financing resources by means of four financing modalities:
- Finance for export operations addressed to Spanish companies located in a foreign country.
- Finance addressed to Spanish companies that aim to invest in a foreign country.
- Finance for export of services such as viability studies, technical assistance, or consulting services. This financing line is addressed to foreign companies that hire Spanish companies in order to carry out some of services mentioned.
- Finance for export operations addressed at Spanish companies, provided to non-viable projects in countries eligible to receive aids (countries with low income according to the World Bank).
The government has expanded and modified FIEM in May 2020 in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, facilitating the access to finance and making the procedures more flexible. Specifically, these changes increase the annual funds by additional €100 million. Likewise, it may increase of additional €100 million depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, the maximum amount that the FIEM can finance per operation is increased to €10 million and the amortisation period is more flexible.
- National funds
ICO (Official Institute of Credit) and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism
Private fund providers.
Since its implementation, FIEM has invested €296.95 (2011), €149.77 (2012), €182.30 (2013), €204.65 (2014), €170.72 (2015), €201.64 (2016), €211.5 (2017), €61.8 (2018), €364.7 and €318 million in (2020) with credits. In 2017, 86 companies were supported by FIEM. Also during 2017, FIEM has emphasised its orientation to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with the objective to increase their average size. An increasing number of SMEs benefits of the support of FIEM while the average size of the credit granted is lower - the average amount in 2017 was €10.8 million (the lowest in the seven years of activity of FIEM). The support to SMEs has been especially reinforced in 2017 with the approval of the FIEM Small Project of Export and Investment, particularly oriented to the financing of projects promoted by this type of companies. During 2017, 3 projects were charged to this line for an amount of less than €1 million, five projects in 2018 and 10 projects in 2019 (Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism 2020).
FIEM complies with the objective of mitigating the effects of possible market failures on the operations of Spanish companies abroad, of multiplying private resources and of obtaining induced effects of business operations abroad for the whole of the Spanish economy, in particular of SMEs (Ruiz Iglesias 2019).
Sometimes the FIEM instrument requirements can be too rigid in granting credits (for example in 2018) (Ruiz Iglesias 2019).