Interview with Jordi Marticella IS21. And now what? Andorra post-COVID-19

And now what? Andorra post-COVID-19

The unprecedented health crisis is beginning to depict a post-coronavirus scenario with global economic consequences, but how has it impacted the Andorran market?

Jordi Marticella, director of Integral Serveis 21, answers questions about the future of the Andorran economy and the consequences that the coronavirus will have on foreign investment.

In the current post-coronavirus scenario of economic reactivation, is Andorra a good place to invest? What opportunities can the Principality offer and for what type of investors?

The global pandemic has revealed the advantages of small countries. In comparison, confinement has been more bearable and less traumatic than that experienced in large cities. The quality of the air, the reduced number of inhabitants and being able to feel and experience nature close to home have given a lot of life and energy to Andorran residents.

The Principality is a unique destination that offers a high-quality health system, different modern education systems, a low crime rate and an increasingly accepted and recognized financial system. These characteristics make Andorra an ideal destination to set up any business that does not require large infrastructures and is respectful with the environment.

In addition, the country’s excellent telecommunications network enables the new teleworking trend to be promoted in all those activities in which physical presence is accessory. Thus, Andorra offers an extraordinary quality of life and the possibility of developing an enriching career path both on a personal and professional level.

How would you rate Andorra's response to the COVID-19 health emergency?

The response of Andorra and its inhabitants has been excellent. Both the Government and the citizens acted with responsibility and determination, aware of the seriousness of the problem and with the certainty that only by working together and coordinated can the virus be overcome. The motto of the Andorran shield has been put into practice: VIRTUS UNITA FORTIOR (united we are stronger)

There is talk of a post-COVID economic scenario, how do you think it will affect Andorra? Which sectors will be most affected?

The COVID-19 crisis will mark a turning point in world history. We have had time, whether voluntary or not, to evaluate and analyse our routines and look for different ways to accomplish them. Thus teleworking, video conferences, online shopping, television or music platforms and tutorials of all kinds have been incorporated into our lives. This digital globalization will have a direct impact on sectors such as education, leisure or catering, that should also enhance their offer to justify people attending in person.

Will the post-COVID economy allow to maintain Andorra's tax advantages?

Yes. The expenses that all the governments are undertaking to challenge the pandemic added to the social expenses that they will have to undertake during the post-coronavirus will entail a generalized increase in tax rates, as well as benefit cuts so as not to trigger public deficit. Andorra will not be an exception, but it will always remain more competitive than its neighboring countries.

A new era requires new strategies. What can you recommend to your clients?

The economic impact of the virus will require being very vigilant regarding new forms of consumption, the reasons to attend in person and the places frequented by consumers in order to market goods and services efficiently. At the same time, more effective ways of working have to be developed to avoid unnecessary or superfluous expenses and thus spend more time on the important things in life.