CEOE president, Antonio Garamendi, participated in the second day of the 34th edition of the Digital Economy and Telecommunications Meeting, organized by the AMETIC digital technology industry employer to address, together with the president of this association, Pedro Wed, The role of business associations in social reconstruction. The need for a new social contract after the Covid-19 crisis. The dialogue between the two presidents was moderated by Guillermo Dorronsoro, professor at Deusto Business School and member of AMETIC's Reflection Group on innovation.
The CEOE president has affirmed that, with a view to recovery and the “updating of the social contract”, there are “two basic legs which are digitization and sustainability”, and added that “in addition, it will be necessary for us to work between all ”, although companies“ are a key social actor in the recovery of things ”. "We are moderate and not disruptive," he assured.
Garamendi has reviewed several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (ODS), on which CEOE has been working, such as the fourth, which refers to quality education; the fifth, on gender equality; the tenth, which seeks to reduce inequalities; or number 17, which promotes alliances to achieve the objectives, highlighting the importance of public-private collaboration.
Antonio Garamendi also emphasized the need to promote innovation: "We are at 1.3% -1.4% of GDP, when we should be at 3%, according to the Lisbon Agreements."
The CEOE president also highlighted the role that the Spanish Constitution assigns to business associations as part of social dialogue, and stressed that “there are 4,500 business organizations in Spain and almost 5,000 collective bargaining tables”, while again point out this social dialogue as "the best infrastructure a country can have".
Garamendi has identified as one of the key challenges the digitization of SMEs, with two aspects: on the one hand, access to technology and, on the other, training, "which is going to be key," he assured, while He stressed that this year it is planned to train, together with the Ministry of Education, 120,000 people in digital skills.
Likewise, the CEOE president has highlighted employability as a “key concept”: “Employability is the key to everything, work is no longer for life, you have to adapt, and this happens by having those skills in digitization, which are also very changeable ”. In his opinion, "a change in mentality at the entire scale of the company and also in Public Administrations is key," which he has described as "a great challenge."
In this sense, Pedro Mier has stated that “if the Public Administration is not redirected, there is no possible solution; We cannot be a modern country with an Administration from the beginning of the last century ”.
The president of AMETIC has emphasized three key points. In the first place, the implementation of training measures, because in his opinion "we need a large country pact to train all people at all levels, from the least qualified to managers, in digital skills." "This is vital," he said.
Secondly, Pedro Mier has asked to increase the effort so that "investment in innovation is at the European average and, if possible, at the acceleration speed that the leaders have." Finally, he stressed that "tractor projects" are essential. "Business associations are a vital element in the articulation of civil society, we have a basic role," concluded Mier.
Garamendi closed his speech with a reflection: "We are changing, together, the image of companies and entrepreneurs in this country." "Business organizations and CEOE work at three key levels: independence, a sense of state and institutional loyalty," he assured, and also said that the SDGs "make us move forward, they are the ones that have to guide us."
For his part, Pedro Mier explained: "Companies are not only due to their shareholders, their customers and employees, but also to society, their country, the territory they are in, sustainability and the planet."
This second day of the 34th edition of the AMETIC Meeting of the Digital Economy and Telecommunications has been inaugurated by the Minister of Education and Professional Training, Isabel Celaá, who has highlighted the importance of education in the definition of digital skills and technological, key in the industrial, economic and social recovery of the country.