The Canary Islands, a tri-continental platform

Did you know that as an outermost region (OR) of Spain with an intercontinental platform, the Canary Islands are an ideal place for doing business? Do you still not know why? Then we recommend that you keep reading to learn more!

4 reasons the Canary Islands are an intercontinental platform

The main reason the Canaries can be described as an intercontinental platform and an ideal place to do business is their connection to a variety of overseas countries and territories. However, this is not the only reason. We’ve selected four main points to focus on. Let’s get into it!


The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago officially recognized as one of the EU’s outermost regions. They are located in the Atlantic Ocean, a few miles off the coast of Africa and a few thousand miles from the Americas. This is a unique and privileged geographic location because it lends itself to the creation of business, cultural, and tourism ties between Europe, Africa, and the Americas.

The Canaries have strong historical and cultural ties to the Americas as well as important business and institutional ties to West Africa. The archipelago’s strategic location has attracted different people and cultures across history, from the first inhabitants of the Canary Islands to the Spanish settlers and immigrants from Africa and the Americas. This has given rise to a unique mix of cultural influences, which can be seen in the music, literature, food, and visual arts of the Canary Islands.

Political and economic connections to Europe

The Canaries are a Spanish territory and are therefore part of Europe. 

In terms of political ties, the Canary Islands have established a series of agreements and alliances with several European countries including England, Portugal, France, and Italy, among others. These agreements have allowed the archipelago to strengthen its connection to Europe and develop a wide array of political and cultural relationships, including cooperation in areas such as tourism, culture, the environment, and security.

In terms of economics, the Canary Islands have established a series of agreements with European countries to promote business and investment. These agreements have allowed the islands to develop a wide array of economic relationships, including cooperation in areas such as tourism, fishing, agriculture, and technology.

Furthermore, the Canary Islands have been in the European Union since 1986, which gives them access to social and economic development funding and programs. The islands have also obtained Outermost Region (OR) status in the EU, which gives them a series of special benefits and subsidies.

One clear example of these are the fiscal benefits available for companies that wish to set up business in the region. The purpose of these benefits, which are mostly related to taxes and labor, is to attract foreign companies and investors to the region to promote economic development and job creation.

The archipelago is home to the Canary Islands Special Zone (ZEC), a special tax regime that applies to companies based in the region. The ZEC allows companies to benefit from a 50% reduction in Corporate Income Tax during their first 8 years of business activities.

Companies in the Canaries can also benefit from a series of tax incentives, such as a 100% deduction on Personal Income Tax (PIT) as well as the Canary Islands General Indirect Tax (IGIC), which applies a reduced standard rate of 7% instead of the 21% that applies in the rest of Spain (VAT) for expenses related to research and development. There is also a reduction in labor costs due to the wage subsidy and exemption from paying Social Security contributions for certain workers.

Canary Islands outermost region

Historical and cultural ties with the Americas

The Canary Islands has a close relationship with the Americas that is both historical and cultural. At the end of the 15th century, the archipelago became a key point for explorers to prepare expeditions and gather supplies before setting sail for the Americas. Many of the sailors who participated in the expeditions were from the Canary Islands, and the archipelago became an important transit center that connected Spain and the Americas.

The relationship between the Canaries and the Americas is reflected in their mutual cultural influences. During the colonial era, plants and animals from the Americas were brought to the Canary Islands, and plants and animals from the Canaries were taken to the Americas. The Canarians also introduced their agricultural systems to the Americas, such as the use of terraces.

Today, the Canary Islands maintain close ties with Latin America, especially with countries like Cuba, Mexico, and Venezuela. These ties are reflected in the presence of a strong Latin American community in the Canary Islands, and in the celebration of cultural events and festivals that promote Latin American culture in the archipelago.

Connections with Europe, Africa, and the Americas

The islands have a wide network of air and maritime connections that makes them accessible from different parts of the world. They also have a series of logistical infrastructures that facilitate the transit of goods, such as ports and airports. Their aforementioned strategic location makes them a hub for business, communication, and the movement of people and goods.

The archipelago has 8 international airports with daily direct flights to more than 140 destinations, including the main cities and capitals of Europe, Africa, and the Americas. The Canary Islands are also a popular tourist destination, so they offer a wide range of national and international flights.  

In terms of maritime connectivity, the Canary Islands have various commercial and passenger ports that serve as points of connection with Europe, Africa, and the Americas. This allows for a high mobility of goods, tourism, and cruise ships. The Canary Islands are also an important area for transatlantic travel and serve as point of connection between Europe and South America.

In conclusion, you have now seen the reasons why the Canaries, one of Spain’s overseas territories, is considered an intercontinental platform. In addition to their strategic geographic location at the crossroads between three landmasses, the Canary Islands are a bridge between Europe, Africa, and the Americas, which makes them a key platform for cultural and economic cooperation between the countries of these regions.

But that’s not all. The Canaries also have a strategic advantage thanks to their geographic location. The time zone in the Canary Islands, located on a privileged meridian, allows for more efficient commercial and business operations with any country on the planet. This advantage makes the Canaries a key point of connection for international commerce and reinforces its position as an intercontinental platform.

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