On Thursday, December 10, the President of CEOE Internacional, Marta Blanco, participated in the annual meeting of the MENA-OECD Business Advisory Board. This meeting fundamentally addressed the role of the private sector in supporting governments' responses to the crisis, as well as the importance of Public-Private Dialogue for the recovery and resilience of the MENA region. The results of the debate will help define the role of the BAB in the new mandate of the MENA-OECD Initiative on Governance and Competitiveness for Development, for the period 2021-2025.
This event was attended by representatives of the companies and institutions of the region, among which the presence of CEOE and UTICA, co-presidents of the BAB, stands out. The conference was opened and closed by Marta Blanco, Hichem Elloumi, Vice President of UTICA, and Carlos Conde, Head of Division, Middle East and Africa, Global Relations Secretariat, OECD.
Intervention by the President of CEOE Internacional
In her speech, Marta Blanco stressed the importance of public-private dialogue, as well as the need for a joint effort necessary for recovery. In addition, he presented the results of a recent survey among Spanish companies with international activity. The companies agree that international activity has significantly reduced in 2020 and is not expected to recover until 2022.
The business areas with the greatest impact for Spanish companies are international demand, promotional activities, mobility and, to a lesser extent, the breakdown of value chains. Companies also consider that the crisis is affecting more their
domestic activity and that, in any case, are looking for new opportunities in international markets despite the difficulties.
He also pointed out the importance of the challenges in the current environment of uncertainty, among which the following stand out:
- Greater competition in international markets
- New habits and consumer preferences
- The digital transformation of the industry, especially of SMEs
- Increased protectionism
- Include sustainability in business development
- Increase the resilience of business models
Finally, he highlighted the main demands of Spanish companies in the field of internationalization, which have to do primarily with fiscal policy, financial support for exports, the elimination of administrative obstacles and support for R & D & i.
The debate between the organizations and governments present was very dynamic and on the specific point of public-private dialogue, CEOE highlighted the importance of social dialogue, always but especially now to overcome the crisis.
The day before, December 9, a specific session dedicated to tourism took place, in which CEOE was also invited to participate. The president of the CEOE Tourism Council took the opportunity to highlight the systemic importance of tourism in the economy of Spain and the need to preserve its value chain to overcome the crisis generated by the pandemic, for which aid in the short term. He also underlined that it is essential to face the challenges related to digitization and sustainability, to which we must add a third one, which is safe mobility.