The presidents of CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, and of CIP, Antonio Saraiva, sent the recommendations to the heads of government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, and Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, on the occasion of the 31 Luso-Spanish Summit, held today, October 10, in the city of Guarda.
Both reaffirmed the commitment of the business community of the two countries in the process of economic recovery, at the European level and with regard to the excellent relations that these countries share with the Latin American region.
CEOE and CIP signed a joint declaration in which they highlighted the importance of the strategic autonomy of the European Union, in addition to a commercial strategy of opening up to the world, framed by prudent rules and adequate internal policies.
The document establishes a dynamic industrial policy, based on a strategy aimed at improving the conditions that encourage companies, of all sizes, to invest, innovate and grow. Both presidents recommended that this policy should integrate the challenges of the underlying trends that are shaping our future, including the energy transition, the circular economy and digitization.
They also made reference to the environmental objectives outlined in the European Ecological Pact, which require an added effort from European companies.
The declaration also emphasizes that the energy transition is achieved within the framework of a truly integrated single energy market, through investments in cross-border gas and electricity interconnections, particularly relevant to enhance Iberian competitive advantages in renewable energy generation.
In this context, it is essential to ensure a framework of stability, gathering consensus around a long-term vision, without different ideological conceptions preventing the search for solutions that best serve our economies and societies.
The business confederations of Portugal and Spain also warned of the need to develop cross-border areas between the two countries. They also highlighted the importance of approving and implementing the Recovery Plan for Europe as soon as possible. They considered that the framework agreed by the European Council opens up new possibilities for coordinated intervention, constituting a unique way to mitigate the dangerous fragmentation effects of the asymmetric response that has so far characterized the reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe.
At the national level, CIP and CEOE emphasized the need for recovery and resilience plans that place companies at the center of national strategies, taking into account the need to preserve the business fabric and the reorientation of growth models and economic and social development, in line with European strategic options.
Garamendi and Saraiva stressed the need to stimulate cross-border cooperation, seeking complementarities and involving the participation of business associations in this area.
Thus, they also highlighted the importance of providing the Iberian Peninsula with an efficient freight transport network that links its ports with central Europe and called on the governments of both countries to promote the necessary coordination of investments, both in planning and construction times, as well as with regard to the harmonization of technical infrastructure solutions.
In the statement, CIP and CEOE recognized the centrality of internationalization policies to promote increased exports and investment in third country markets, especially in Latin America and Africa, where Portuguese and Spanish companies have a presence based on a long tradition. They highlighted the conclusion of the agreement with Mexico and the ongoing negotiations to modernize the agreement with Chile, but regretted the political obstacles that persist in the implementation of the EU agreement with Mercosur.
Both organizations will continue to work intensely to build a common Ibero-American agenda, responding to business challenges in this new scenario of economic disruption and digital transition.