The vice president of Spain's CEOE employers federation lobbied here Tuesday at the 6th Spain-Brazil Forum on Business Investment and Cooperation for the internationalization of small and medium-sized firms.

Jesus Terciado, who is also head of the Cepyme association of small and medium-sized business, said smaller Spanish companies should consider expanding to Brazil.

"The big companies have been in the country for years but the small and medium-sized firms are in a situation to do it in an ongoing and stable way," he said during a speech he gave at the Forum's inauguration ceremony.

In remarks to Efe, Terciado acknowledged that the fact that Brazil is not growing at the same rate as in past years could influence the Spanish firms' process of establishing themselves in the country.

He added, however, that Brazil "has a rather powerful economy" and a "very consolidated" middle class with substantial purchasing power.

The Brazilian government this year is expecting the economy to expand by 2.5 percent, after reaching a top growth rate of 7.5 percent in 2010, after which economic growth slowed to 2.7 percent in 2011 and 0.9 percent last year.

Terciado also noted that the main problems facing Spanish companies in Brazil are the bureaucracy and high taxes.

The solution to the problem lies in intensifying cooperation via bilateral accords that facilitate the entry of Spanish products and firms into Brazil, he said.

Terciado applauded the Brazilian government's ambitious infrastructure plan, which will be discussed at one of the Forum's sessions dealing with specific sectors.

In a recorded message transmitted during the opening of the Forum, Spain's Crown Prince Felipe - who on Monday was forced to cancel his attendance due to a technical problem with the official jet on which he was to travel from Madrid - also emphasized the role of small and mid-sized business in creating jobs and wealth. EFE