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 22, 2014 -- Updated 2001 GMT (0401 HKT)
The U.S. has promised to supply and train "acceptable" rebels in Syria to counter ISIS. But who are they and are can the strategy work?
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0039 GMT (0839 HKT)
Branded an "extremist" by China's state-run media, Joshua Wong isn't even old enough to drive.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 0655 GMT (1455 HKT)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised political pundits with his rapid rise to power. CNN meets the man behind the enigma.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
British police launched an investigation into abusive tweets sent to Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli.
September 21, 2014 -- Updated 2344 GMT (0744 HKT)
A woman who was texting her husband before he was killed reflects on the Westgate attack.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1049 GMT (1849 HKT)
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
The burial leader. The hospital gatekeeper. The disease detective. All telling powerful, stories from West Africa.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1554 GMT (2354 HKT)
The real secret to a faster commute has been with us all along -- the bus.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1316 GMT (2116 HKT)
13 brands retained their Top 20 status from last year, according to an annual survey.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1549 GMT (2349 HKT)
Think your new tattoo is cool? Look at how our ancestors did it and think again.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1100 GMT (1900 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