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On March 15, the EURODEFENSE-SPAIN Board of Directors presented the President of the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations, CEOE, Mr. Antonio Garamendi, of the Commemorative Medal of the Association.

The president thanked the concession and expressed the support of CEOE to the acts of commemoration of the XXV anniversary of its Foundation, which is celebrated this year.

EURODEFENSE-SPAIN is a non-profit association created as a result of a collaboration agreement between the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE) and the Higher Center for National Defense Studies (CESEDEN), signed since November 20, 1995 The association is dedicated to the study and reflection on issues related to Security and Defense and belongs to the network of associations of EURODEFENSE countries of the European Union.



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The Spanish Federation of Food and Beverage Industries (FIAB) It has started the calendar of international promotion activities promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and ICEX for the year 2020. This program includes more than 80 actions, 25 of them directly led by FIAB. International fairs, export missions or business meetings, among others, and with which the Spanish sector focuses its strategy not only on consolidating the usual markets, withoutor the bet for an offer of value, differentiated and focused on different niches and formats of consumption, and the diversification of countries.

During this year, companies in the sector will visit countries such as China, Japan, the United States and European countries, as well as less traditional markets such as South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Singapore, among others.

For the first time, FIAB will organize the Spanish Pavilion at the APAS Show in Brazil, which is held from May 18 to 21. Brazil is one of Mercosur's main partners, an excellent opportunity to strengthen its position in this market, also driven by the advantages offered by the agreement with the European Union for the reduction of certain existing tariffs in Mercosur over European exports.

The sector to conquer the US market

The United States is the first stop within this calendar. The Spanish food and beverage industry meets in January at the Winter Fancy Food Fair in the United States with the support of the Spanish Federation of Food and Beverage Industries (FIAB) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Winter Fancy Food is the most relevant and largest gourmet and delicatessen exhibition on the West Coast. In the last edition, the fair brought together more than 1,400 exhibitors from more than 30 countries.

A total of 19 companies representing the sectors of meat products, sweet, olive oil, nuts, canned vegetables and condiments, among others, these days to San Francisco to strengthen commercial ties and seek new business opportunities with importers and distributors Americans

As a novelty, the Spanish Pavilion this year has a gastronomic space promoted by ICEX and FIAB, designed to provide greater visibility to our culinary tradition. “Our country is a reference not only for the variety and quality of its products, but also for the way we understand food, linked to our culture and tradition. The creation of these spaces allows us to bring this experience closer to other markets and provide greater added value to an offer that already stands out and attracts the interest of the markets, ”said Mauricio García de Quevedo, CEO of FIAB.

Currently, the United States is the first country of destination for Spanish food and beverages outside the European Union. In 2018 alone, sales to this country amounted to a value of 1,728 million euros, representing 5.7% of total exports in the sector.

A strategic market for Spanish industry that is going through a delicate situation due to the imposition of tariffs on certain Spanish foods and drinks on October 18 and that is already affecting exports to this country. "We cannot give up this market, which is why FIAB and the sectors affected work with the Administration to give top priority to this situation that compromises and unbalances the competitiveness of Spanish industry against its direct competitors," said Mauricio García de Quevedo.

Internationalization is one of the strategic pillars marked by FIAB in the Strategic Framework for the Food and Beverage Industry. Only in 2019, the Federation promoted the export activity of more than 680 companies in the sector through different promotion and training activities both in our country and in foreign markets.



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The CEO of International CEOE, Marta Blanco, participated in the Annual Consultation Meeting of Business at OECD with the ambassadors accredited to the OECD, which was held yesterday in Paris. In the course of it, he stressed that Spain represents a good example of a country that has benefited from the progressive opening of its economy, among other issues.

During his visit, he also met with the Spanish ambassador to the OECD, Manuel María Escudero; with the ambassador of Spain in France, Fernando Carderera; and with various representatives of the OECD and the CEOE homologous employer, MEDEF. This last meeting with the French business confederation (MEDEF) served as a follow-up to the visit at the end of October of the president of said institution, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, to Spain, during which he met with Spanish businessmen at CEOE, in order to strengthen business cooperation between the two countries and discuss matters of common interest to companies.

Annual Business Consultation at OECD

The Annual Consultation with the OECD, officially called the Liaison Committee Meeting (LCM), is chaired by the Secretary General of that Institution, Ángel Gurría, and addresses the business priorities that involve the OECD. Both Gurría and the president of Business at OECD, Phil O'Reilly, presented the objectives of the day and, later, the director general of Confindustria, Marcella Panucci; and AT&T senior vice president Karim Antonio Lessina and USCIB CEO Peter Robinson, who made a joint presentation.

After the first session, moderated by the Secretary General of Business at OECD, Rusell Mills, three simultaneous working groups took place, in which ambassadors and members of Business at OECD took part, and the value of the open markets to society in relation to trade, investment / taxes and development; how society faces the opportunities that arise in the future: digital transformation, employment and skills; and how to lay the foundations for prosperous societies: health, environment and energy.

Value of open markets

The CEO of International CEOE, Marta Blanco, moderated the first of the tables, related to the value that markets open to society bring in relation to trade, investment / taxes and development. For this, questions were addressed regarding how citizens see the economic and social benefits of open markets; what specific policies are applied by the various countries and companies to promote the opening of these markets and what are the best sources of the OECD to demonstrate these benefits.

Marta Blanco mentioned that Spanish society is one of the most committed and is in favor of international trade, especially among the youngest. In fact, according to the Eurobarometer of Spain, the main reasons for this support is that a broader option is offered to customers and imported products are cheaper. Likewise, the survey reflects that 42% of Spaniards think that the EU as a whole is more effective in defending the commercial interests of its members than when the States do it alone. It was also indicated that 56% believe that we need international trade standards, as they help create equitable conditions for countries and businesses.

The president of CEOE International said, in her role as moderator, that Spaniards are strong supporters of open markets. In this regard, it was highlighted, during the round table, that successive governments have strongly advocated a multilateral system and a strong WTO, capable of establishing clear rules and resolving differences between countries.

It was also stressed that we must bet on the WTO reform to adapt the current regulation to new economic challenges in the areas related to digitalization, distorted subsidies and state-owned enterprises or technology transfer. The speakers at the table pointed out that it is essential to support the achievement of ambitious agreements, which go beyond the mere reduction of tariff barriers, improving the conditions of market access by making the rules compatible and achieving better access to the services markets and investments.

Marta Blanco agreed with the speakers to reaffirm the benefits offered by international trade. In fact, the OECD offers a wide range of analyzes and tools that help highlight the benefits of trade and investments, as is the case, to name an example, of the TIVA trade and value-added instrument; and especially from the FDI Quality Project, a report that presents a new set of indicators that measure the impacts on the sustainable development of foreign direct investment in the various countries.

The session was attended by the CEO of Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC), Danny McCoy; the co-chair of the Digital Business at OECD Committee, Julie Brill; the chairman of the Investment Committee, Winand Quaedvlieg; the Chairman of the Fiscal Committee, William Morris; and the vice president of the Commerce Committee, Marco Felisati. A small debate was also held in which the present ambassadors, representatives of the OECD and of Business at OECD, such as Ángel Gurría and Phil O'Reilley, also participated.

Bilateral meetings

Marta Blanco also held meetings during her trip to Paris with the Spanish ambassador to the OECD, Manuel María Escudero; with the ambassador of Spain in France, Fernando Carderera; with the director of the Department of Communication of the OECD, Anthony Gooch and the head of the Area of ​​the Middle East and Africa, Carlos Conde; and with the president of the European and International Commission of MEDEF, Bernard Spitz.



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In an act held on January 16 at the headquarters of the SIMA Foundation in Madrid, the signing of the I Collective Agreement of Veterinary Centers and Services has taken place, fruit of a year and a half of negotiation between the employer of the sector (the Spanish Veterinary Business Confederation, CEVE) and the major unions CCOO and UGT.

Nationally, for a sector that lacked an agreement in much of the country, it affects all types of veterinary services, including those provided in veterinary health centers, in other types of centers or on an outpatient basis, and both those dedicated to pets such as work and production, as well as other veterinary activities such as bromatology laboratories.

It encompasses both private activity and that carried out in foundations; public institutions, such as universities, or non-profit entities, such as veterinary services provided in animal protection associations.

It is remarkable, among other aspects, the inclusion of a professional classification system, which establishes the minimum salary perceptions and regulating the workday in a type of activity in which both aspects are critical. In addition, it actively encourages worker training and establishes, for some of the professional categories, a route for the development of a professional career.

The signing of the Agreement means having an agreed and homogeneous legal labor relations framework and a powerful instrument to fight against unfair competition. All signatories agree that this is a fundamental milestone to normalize the labor relations of a sector that evidently accused the absence of a regulatory framework.

An important aspect, which is also highlighted both by the representation of the workers and the business side, is that this agreement recognizes the health status of both the profession and the veterinary activity, and both parties agree on the convenience that veterinary activities are dependent on the health administration.

With the signing of this agreement, it will be registered for publication in the BOE, although it has effect from January 1, 2020, its application being mandatory. In this respect, the workers can go to the signatory unions and the companies to their employers to obtain advice about the implementation of this new agreement.



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The president of CAF – development bank of Latin America – Luis Carranza, highlighted today the business and investment opportunities in Latin America, during a business meeting at CEOE, in which the vice president of the Confederation and president of SEOPAN, Julián Núñez, and the permanent secretary of CEIB and CEO of International CEOE, Narciso Casado also participated. Previously, Luis Carranza and the CEO of CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, met to discuss the CAF projects in the region and the possibilities of cooperation with Spanish companies.

Previous meeting

During the meeting prior to the meeting, Garamendi and Carranza expressed their interest in cooperating in areas of common interest and that Spanish companies can collaborate on projects that contribute to the development of Latin America. Garamendi commended the work of CAF, for its firm commitment to establish and promote sustainable development and regional integration, which represent key elements for productivity growth in the area. He stressed the efforts that are being made in the fight against climate change, the promotion of the digital agenda and the productive transformation of the region through industry 4.0, which, in his opinion, are essential elements to incorporate into the business strategy and that “we share both from CEOE, and from the Council of Ibero-American Businessmen (CEIB)”.

For this reason, he considered it essential that both institutions collaborate in areas of common interest in the region, such as education, training and retention of talent; the promotion of financing and the need to improve the regulatory and institutional framework; digitalization and commitment to innovation; the strengthening of public governance; and the need to establish a framework of public-private partnerships to undertake the investments required in Latin America and achieve the objectives and goals of the 2030 Agenda.

Business forum

The Vice President of CEOE and President of SEOPAN, Julián Núñez, thanked Luis Carranza for the event, which was attended by more than 180 representatives of institutions, embassies and companies in the region. Núñez highlighted the presence of Spanish companies throughout Latin America in sectors such as transport infrastructure, logistics, energy, water, sanitation, banking or tourism, among other sectors. In this regard, he stressed the need to promote a framework of public-private partnerships, which will attract the private capital required to modernize the public infrastructure and services demanded by the region.

In this context, Núñez stressed that public-private partnerships represent an essential lever to boost the participation of private companies with the other agents involved, such as international and multilateral organizations and public administrations. However, he said, so that public-private partnerships can respond to the strong expectations placed on them, it will be essential to work in two areas of great importance, such as financing and improving the business environment.

Development in Latin America

Luis Carranza reviewed the evolution and main lines of action of CAF, as well as the business and investment opportunities that exist in the region. Carranza explained that they have incorporated a corporate strategic framework and that the institution focuses on projects that contribute to social development. In this regard, he highlighted five main axes by which the bank is governed: efficiency, equity, sustainability, institutionality and integration.

During his speech, Carranza focused on the challenge facing Latin America to improve its productivity, for which internal efficiency, institutional strengthening, greater infrastructure efficiency and equity in various sectors, such as health, education, water or sanitation, are required. , among other issues. The president of CAF insisted that Latin American countries should make an effort to make better use of their natural resources, to achieve prosperity and growth, always counting on the impact on the environment and on development and social equity.

The CAF executive president explained that they have created a Study Fund for large infrastructure projects, and that they have proposed to the Spanish government to co-finance some engineering studies. Likewise, Carranza said that the priority is to carry out infrastructure throughout the region, in order to integrate the markets. Finally, he emphasized the commitment to public-private partnerships, especially in the field of SMEs, which are the ones that can innovate and contribute to growth in the area.

Closure

The permanent secretary of CEIB, Narciso Casado, closed the day by mentioning the intense and extensive collaboration that has been carried out between CAF and the Council of Latin American Businessmen for a long time. For his part, he highlighted the main challenges that Latin America has to face and the work carried out by CEIB to find possible solutions to them. Among them, Casado highlighted the low productivity of Latin American companies, so the efficiency and competitiveness of the business environment must be improved; and highlighted the progress made in infrastructure, but insisted on the need for long-term stable development plans in different countries. He also mentioned the high levels of employment protection, which affects the activity of companies; lack of access by companies to financing; and the importance of retaining talent in the region. In this regard, Casado said that since CEOE-CEIB and SEGIB, work is being carried out to launch an ‘Ibero-American Erasmus’, through which young people can be trained in any country in the region.

On CEIB

The Council of Ibero-American Businessmen (CEIB) was born in 2015 as an institution that brings together the 23 most representative business organizations of the 21 Latin American countries, Spain, Principality of Andorra and Portugal, which, in our case is CEOE. It is an organization that assumes the representation and defense of the interests of the majority of companies, professionals and freelancers of any size and sector of activity, and of young people, through the Ibero-American Federation of Young Entrepreneurs (FIJE). In this way, CEIB is emerging as the largest business network in the region, under the umbrella of the International Organization of Employers (OIE, with more than 150 sister business organizations in 140 countries).

About CAF

CAF – development bank of Latin America – has the mission of promoting sustainable development and regional integration, through the financing of public and private sector projects, the provision of technical cooperation and other specialized services. Established in 1970 and currently made up of 19 countries – 17 from Latin America and the Caribbean, along with Spain and Portugal – and 13 private banks, it is one of the main sources of multilateral financing and an important knowledge generator for the region.

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Food distribution is an important element of territorial vertebration and economic development in rural areas. This is the main idea that they have highlighted ASEDAS, Spanish Association of Distributors, Self-Service and Supermarkets, and ASUCAM, Association of Supermarkets of Castilla-La Mancha, at the Supermarket and Territorial Vertebration Day in Castilla-La Mancha, opened by Francisco Martínez Arroyo, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development of the Junta de Castilla-La Mancha, has taken place in the Parador de Cuenca.

Francisco Martínez Arroyo stressed that 47% of consumers choose supermarkets to buy products and, for the regional government, it is essential that the linear ones are those that are produced in the region; mainly, those covered by one of the 47 existing quality figures, which will be grouped under an umbrella brand that will be presented this year and for which it has requested the support of the distribution to make it known.

Also participating in the conference were Jesus Alique, commissioner of the Demographic Challenge of Castilla-La Mancha, and Sara Bianchi, technical general secretary of SSPA – Sparsely Populated Areas of Southern Europe. Jesús Alique listed some of the fundamental pillars to attract population to rural areas and ensure equal rights: access to housing, transport, broadband and economic activity. Sara Bianchi, for her part, set the example of Scotland, which has managed to settle population in rural areas thanks to good basic services and the creation of stable jobs.

The objective of ASEDAS and ASUCAM is to contribute so that the basic need to have access to a complete, varied, safe and competitively priced meal also reaches all people who choose to live in small and remote municipalities. In fact, the entire Spanish population has at least one supermarket less than 15 minutes from their homes, which implies that the phenomenon of "food deserts" does not occur in Spain. Of the total openings of self-services and supermarkets in the last five years, 22.6 percent are located in municipalities with less than 10,000 inhabitants, many of them in the form of franchises supported by the purchasing centers belonging to ASEDAS, Euromadi and Ifa .

The network of food distribution establishments, 23,519 throughout Spain, can be compared to the network of pharmacies or schools *. The province of Cuenca, the most depopulated in Spain together with Soria and Teruel, has a ratio of inhabitants per supermarket of 1,470, compared to 1,686 in Castilla-La Mancha and 2,028 of the average in Spain. This means that the effort to maintain a supermarket in rural areas is greater than in urban environments and reaffirms the commitment of supermarkets to the rural world.

Both Ignacio García Magarzo, general director of ASEDAS, and Rafael Ruiz Alonso, president of ASUCAM, have stressed that the reasons for the high capillarity of the supermarket network lie in the strength of the regional chains that, helped by the purchasing centers, They introduce an element of balance in the chain that allows them to compete in assortment, quality and price. In addition, it is worth highlighting the impact on the rural economy both through the creation of direct employment and the support to local producers. These find proximity marketing channels for their products that, in turn, provide a differentiating element to regional supermarkets.

In this sense, María Ángeles Rosado, from ASAJA Cuenca, defended the need for a strong and collaborative value chain such as the one that has been built in Spain as “an inescapable factor to boost population fixation in these areas”.

Cuenca has hosted the first of a series of debates on food distribution and territorial vertebration that will continue in the Communities of Castilla y León, Aragón and Andalucía.

* 28,531 schools in the 2018-2019 academic year, according to the Ministry of Education; 22,046 pharmacies in 2017, according to the College of Pharmacists.



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In the context of the trilateral talks that are taking place in Washington D.C. between the EU, the US UU. and Japan, BusinessEurope, the United States Chamber of Commerce and Keidanren issued a joint statement in which they asked the three economies to propose concrete measures that would restore the level playing field with regard to anti-competitive practices.

In the declaration, the three economic powers are asked to progress in the negotiation of new rules adapted to the reality of the current global economy, capable of dealing with anti-competitive practices, specifically in areas such as industrial subsidies, state enterprises and the forced transfer of technology. The three signatory business organizations believe that these proposals aimed at updating the body of rules would contribute to the modernization efforts of the WTO, as well as maintain and reform the multilateral trading system.

For more information:

  • Consult joint declaration signed by BusinessEurope, the United States Chamber of Commerce and Keidanren.



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In December, the interannual rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) accelerates four tenths to 0.8%. Despite this upturn, it can be said that inflation remains at very contained levels, confirming the absence of inflationary pressures in the Spanish economy.

In addition, core inflation also remains very moderate, registering the same annual rate as in the previous three months (1.0%). Analyzing its components, it is observed that all of them continue to show very moderate increases. Thus, the prices of services increase by one tenth their rate of variation, up to 1.6%, while processed foods, beverages and tobacco decrease by one tenth to 0.8% and the prices of industrial goods without products energy decrease two tenths to 0.2%.

The prices of unprocessed foods increase their variation rate by two tenths and stand at 2.9%. Fresh fruits are the rubric that has a greater impact on this increase, since their prices decrease less this December than in the same month of 2018, although the greater increase in the prices of pork and other meat also influences this increase. meats.

Energy prices in the month of December, although they continue to show declines, moderate their rate of decline. Specifically, the interannual rate in this month of the prices of energy products has been -2.1%, more than three percentage points less than in the previous month. This is due to the increase in the prices of fuels and fuels, while electricity has fallen this month and gas remains stable.

Regarding the price of oil, the OPEC + agreement to reduce its production from January 2020 made it begin to increase since November. In December, Brent crude stood at $ 69.1 / barrel on a monthly average, 22.8% higher than the previous year. In euros the increase was 25.9% due to a certain depreciation of the currency in this period. In early January, the assassination of the Iranian military leader by the United States and the subsequent attack on American military bases generated geopolitical tensions that caused oil to rebound even more. However, in recent days it has already begun to decline, bringing the monthly average of January at 68 dollars / barrel, which would mean an increase of 15.3% over the previous year, although it surely ends up being something lower not to intensify tensions.

The Harmonized Consumer Price Index stood at 0.8% in December, three tenths more than in November, and the average Economic and Monetary Union index also increased three tenths to 1.3%, according to the indicator Eurostat advanced. Thus, the differential with the euro zone accumulates 14 months in negative.

In 2019, average inflation in Spain was 0.7%, compared to the average annual inflation rate for the whole Euro Zone of 1.2%. This improvement in price competitiveness, via inflation moderation, should be accompanied by the containment of other costs (fiscal, labor …) and economic policy measures that favor the growth of the productivity of the Spanish economy.



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The CEOE president, Antonio Garamendi, the director of the CEOE organizations and companies department, Javier Calderón, and Javier Martín Ocaña, CEO of Vitaldent participated in the integration ceremony.

With 30 years of activity in the market, Vitaldent is currently the first Spanish group in the dental health sector. The company has treated more than 7.5 million patients in all this time. With a turnover of close to 300 million euros, it employs 2,500 professionals and has more than 1,400 collaborating dentists.

Advent International, one of the largest and most experienced private equity firms in the world, is Vitaldent's majority shareholder.

For Vitaldent, belonging to the CEOE will allow you to be part of various commissions within the Confederation and participate in working groups, as well as encourage contact with companies and partner organizations, access reports, documents and trends, receive advice from the CEOE structure, etc.

In the words of Javier Martín, CEO of Vitaldent, “Becoming the first company in the oral health sector to join CEOE is an important step for us and the first for the constitution and strengthening of this business sector. ”

“From the CEOE we will work actively in the defense of sectoral interests whose priorities are focused on: collaboration with Public Administrations and Professional Colleges to improve the oral health of citizens; in working together on the future self-regulation of advertising, and in strengthening and validating the “social license” to operate in this traditional sector of the economy, ”he added.

For his part, the CEO of CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, has said that it is always good news to integrate a new member into the organization, while highlighting “the importance of having a company like Vitaldent, leader of the sector of dental health in Spain ”.



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The CEO of International CEOE, Marta Blanco, will participate in the Annual Meeting of Business Consultations at OECD with the ambassadors accredited to the OECD, which will be held next Monday, the 13th in Paris. During his visit, he will also meet with the Spanish ambassador to the OECD, Manuel María Escudero; with the ambassador of Spain in France, Fernando Carderera; and with various representatives of the OECD and the CEOE homologous employer, MEDEF. This last meeting with the French business confederation (MEDEF) will follow up on the visit at the end of October of the president of said institution, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, to Spain, during which he met with Spanish businessmen at CEOE, in order to reinforce business cooperation between both countries and talk about matters of common interest to companies.

The Annual Consultation with the OECD, officially called the Liaison Committee Meeting (LCM), is chaired by the Secretary General of that Institution, Ángel Gurría, and addresses the business priorities that involve the OECD. Both Gurría and the president of Business at OECD, Phil O'Reilly, will present the objectives of the day and, later, the director general of Confindustria, Marcella Panucci; and AT&T senior vice president Karim Antonio Lessina and USCIB CEO Peter Robinson, who will make a joint presentation.

After the first session, moderated by the Secretary General of Business at OECD, Rusell Mills, three simultaneous workshops will take place on the value that markets open to society contribute to trade, investment / taxes and development; how society faces the opportunities that arise in the future: digital transformation, employment and skills; and lay the foundations for prosperous societies: health, environment and energy.

Value of open markets

The CEO of International CEOE, Marta Blanco, will moderate the first of the tables, related to the value that markets open to society contribute to in relation to trade, investment / taxes and development. To do this, questions regarding how people in your country see the economic and social benefits of open markets will be addressed; what specific policies are applied in your country or your company to promote these markets and which do you consider to be the best sources of evidence for the OECD to reaffirm these benefits.

The CEO of Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC), Danny McCoy; the co-chair of the Digital Business at OECD Committee, Julie Brill; the chairman of the Investment Committee, Winand Quaedvlieg; the Chairman of the Fiscal Committee, William Morris; and the vice president of the Commerce Committee, Marco Felisati. A small debate will also be held in which the ambassadors, representatives of the OECD and Business at OECD, such as Ángel Gurría and Phil O'Reilley, will also participate.

Bilateral meetings

Marta Blanco will also hold meetings during her trip to Paris with the Spanish ambassador to the OECD, Manuel María Escudero; with the ambassador of Spain in France, Fernando Carderera; and with various representatives of the OECD and the CEOE homologous employer, MEDEF.



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