The sectors of innovation and digitization, education and training and SMEs have presented their proposals to get out of the crisis after Covid-19 on the seventh day of the business summit organized by CEOE under the title 'Spanish Companies: Leading the Future', which It ends tomorrow, June 24.

The closing will be borne by S.M. King Felipe VI, after nine days giving voice to representatives of the Spanish business world at the highest level to present his vision on the current situation and on the strategy to exit the crisis.

The CEOE President, Antonio Garamendi, has opened the panel dedicated to innovation and digitization sector giving way to Chairman of Telefónica, José María Álvarez-Pallete, who has stated that Telefónica allocates 75 million to help SMEs and the self-employed in their transition to the digital world during and after the pandemic. "You have to move from theories to facts, land the proposals and put people ahead," said its president.

Then, Pedro Mier, President of AMETIC, He has ensured that "the digital industry is committed to digital and sustainable reconstruction", which places "human well-being" at the center. He has also highlighted the “learning capacity that our society has demonstrated” in these weeks and the “importance of industry and industrial ecosystems” to face the pandemic. In this sense, Mier has proposed "take advantage of this opportunity we have to reindustrialize Spain with 21st century technologies", with a "great State agreement for innovation, with a combination of public and private effort".

For his part, Cristina Garmendia, President of the Cotec Foundation, He has stated that "no economy, no society, no government was prepared" for this pandemic. "We must pay special attention to science in general and research", because in his opinion "we have recovered our economy with our backs to knowledge".

After, Fernando Abril-Martorell, President of Indra, He has ensured that the drive to digitization and a reindustrialization strategy would improve Spain's positioning and future prospects in the current global scenario. "Technological disruption, which allows an industrial 'resert', gives us an opportunity to reindustrialize our country and thus maintain and recover decision-making centers for Spain," he explained, at the same time as he stated that public powers can have a driving effect. determinant of momentum through large Digital Transformation or technological projects.

He Orange CEO Laurent Paillassot He stressed that "if this crisis has revealed anything, it is the need and importance of connectivity", which has been possible "both for the quality and coverage of our networks". When talking about the challenges that Spain has ahead, he has set two priorities to relaunch the economy, such as "support for companies" and "the fight against precariousness" and "vulnerability of part of society". According to Paillassot, the ICT sector represents "4% of GDP and 3% of total employment" in our country, which "represents around 500,000 jobs". "Digital is a very powerful engine for growth and new jobs, but investment is required," he concluded.

The Facebook CEO Irene Cano He assured that "we have advanced in eight weeks what it would have cost us to advance five years", since "society has been propelled into a digital world", and has exposed some social and business trends that have arisen with this crisis. Among the first, he has pointed out "the digitization of relationships, teleworking and remote or distance education." Among the business trends, "the flourishing of electronic commerce or e-commerce and a consistent transformation of business models." Cano stressed that this process allows, among other things, to "relocate talent" and represents "an enormous opportunity to return progress" to depopulated Spain.

Helena Herrero, president of HP, It has focused on the “need for a clear, urgent transformation”. "We need short-term, urgent solutions for sectors that are clearly having a hard time, but also fundamental medium and long-term solutions for this transformation", "we need a roadmap", he said, adding that "digitization and innovation are the real ones levers of that sustainable recovery ”and that“ the companies that were more digitized have been more resilient ”. Herrero has also pointed out the necessary "commitment to reindustrialization through digitization".

Eduardo Serra, president of Digital, He pointed out that "this crisis is different from all", it will have worse consequences than the previous ones and to get out of it "is a common objective". In his opinion, our recovery "will be between the‘ U ’and the’ L ’, it will be a long way to return us to normality." Serra considers that "there are still enormous uncertainties", and yet "certain certainties, some confidence, are vital to the work of the businessmen." In addition, he warned that "the higher the taxation, the lower the investment."

He Vodafone president and CEO, António Coimbra, He stated: "The magnitude of this crisis requires rapid and forceful responses to minimize its consequences." "Telecommunications services have been essential during the health crisis and as a sector, we have the duty and the ability to promote the social and economic transformation of Spain, accelerating a digital outlet for citizens, companies and public administrations," he added.

For his part, the president of IBM, Marta Martínez Alonso, He explained that "the pandemic has highlighted the value of technology, but has also evidenced the need to accelerate the digitization process." "There is not a single key challenge for our country," continues Martínez Alonso, "from education to sustainability, from business competitiveness to the efficiency of public services, which does not go through a much deeper integration of essential digital capabilities, such as architectures cloud or artificial intelligence, in the processes of companies and institutions ".

He HPE President, José María de la Torre, expressed that "with the utmost respect for privacy, more technology is more health, greater well-being, greater social cohesion, more sustainability, more productivity, greater competitiveness and, ultimately, better economic growth." De la Torre has concluded: “These were the two ideas that I wanted to share with all of you today, the firm commitment to Spain as a preferred destination to locate technological investments that, by their nature, are of high added value, of those that generate employment quality; and increased investment in technology to maximize the full potential of technology and innovation to consolidate the transition to a more competitive, inclusive, and sustainable economic model. ”

Tobías Martínez, CEO of Cellnex, He stressed that "connectivity and digitization" have helped us in this crisis and that "its acceleration is a fact." He has also put on the table what he considers the main "drag" of our economy and is "the lowest productivity in relation to our most direct competitors." "Hand in hand with digitization, greater productivity will emerge", he assured, adding that "new business models will also emerge that will demand new professional profiles".

María Ferreras, vice president of Netflix, He emphasized that this service "has accompanied many people" during the confinement, providing them with leisure and entertainment, and has opted to "turn Spain into the audiovisual hub of Europe." To do this, it has identified some challenges facing the sector, among which is "ensuring the employability and sustainability of the sector", "betting on innovation", "betting on public policies that take into account the audiovisual reality of our days ”or“ promoting public-private collaboration for the benefit of the Country Brand ”.

"At Cisco we believe in the possible", he highlighted Andreu Vilamitjana, CEO of Cisco Spain. “It is possible to transform the crisis into opportunity, accelerate digitization and achieve an inclusive future. We have the technology, which is the digital vaccine for this crisis. But we need the collaboration of all, especially of the Administrations, by means of a greater investment in tele-education and tele-medicine and in strategic sectors such as the digitization of tourism and industry that will be profitable in the short term ”.

Jaime Hortelano, CEO and President of Grupo CMC, He explained that in the face of this "deep, unprecedented, unexpected and probably unprecedented crisis", "it is necessary to react quickly from the financial, labor and fiscal point of view to stop the deterioration and begin the recovery". Hortelano has assured that we have “a historic opportunity” to make digitization the “main engine of the country's recovery” and to “set up a Europe-oriented ICT service center in Spain that would get a large number of high-level jobs quality and long duration ”.

The president of Adigital, Carina Szpilka, has cast an optimistic look into the future and has spoken of the current context of crisis as an opportunity to promote a "Renaissance through digitalisation". "It has accelerated much more in digitization than in the last five years, we have lost its fear and that must continue," he said.

In this endeavor, he recalled that Spain already occupies a leading position in terms of infrastructure and connectivity, and has urged “to continue working to consolidate it”. However, it has considered that it is necessary to "promote a digital and intelligent administration", increase the digital capacities of the population, adapt the legislation to economic models and have a tax system adapted to the 21st century.

Already in the table on education and training, Antonio Abril, president of the Conference of University Social Councils, lamented that "the lack of structural reforms, essential to be able to face the challenges of the global, competitive and technologically disruptive world of the 21st century, -especially in the areas of its government, management and accountability-, and its deficit Chronic financing, they are weighing down the excellence of our public universities ”. "In Spain, society and its productive sector have sinned omission and lack of commitment to the governance, modernization and excellence of its public universities," he added, while considering that "the current mismatch between the offer of university degrees and the demand for professional profiles by a productive sector that, in addition, creates few highly qualified jobs, generates unemployment and under-employment of unacceptable university graduates ”.

He President of the Princess of Girona Foundation and the Bertelsmann Foundation, Francisco Belil, It has demanded a political and social agreement in Education based on international criteria under a modern and effective framework throughout the State without ideological focus or territorial differences. He has also asked "that teaching be a desired and prestigious profession where the best go to work." He has also requested to bring the educational environment closer to the entrepreneurial, asking the entrepreneurs to become counselors and trainers. Finally, he has asked for special attention to vocational guidance and dual vocational training as tools to help young people enter the labor market. All this because, according to Belil, "the most important sector of all for our country is undoubtedly Education and we have to take care of its quality".

This panel has been closed with the intervention of José Antonio Sarría, President of the Commission of Education and Training of CEOE, who has advocated for a greater role for companies in this area to improve employability. Sarría has affirmed that "education and training are called to be a critical catalyst in overcoming the crisis", and recalled that a new "Education Law in Parliament" is currently being debated, which he sees as "a opportunity to reach consensus ”. Education and training should be, in his opinion, "a strategic commitment of our country because it is the best way to achieve more employment, better employment, economic growth and social cohesion".

Finally, the table dedicated to SMEs It has been opened with the presentation of the CEPYME President, Gerardo Cuerva, which has reviewed key issues that have been discussed throughout the Business Summit, such as the economic policy measures necessary to emerge from the crisis or future challenges, such as digital transformation or internationalization.

However, he has especially stressed that getting out of this situation requires a framework of certainty and stability. "Fear and uncertainty mean that projects necessary for progress are not undertaken," he said.

Then the President of the Juste Group, Inés Juste, He has proposed "addressing the liquidity problems of companies so that they do not lead to insolvency situations" and, in the long term, "redefine what our structural problems are and correct them", among which he pointed out the "digital challenge, key to the competitiveness

future ”and“ a new educational model ”that“ has the collaboration of entrepreneurs ”. According to Inés Juste, family businesses are "the backbone of the economy and civil society."

Alfonso Jiménez, President of Cascajares, is sure that SMEs are "part of the solution" to this crisis, so he asks to "support" small and medium-sized companies. Jiménez has been in favor of "continuing ERTEs as long as the problem continues", because they have been a "wonderful tool" that "has worked very well" and because "going from ERTEs to EREs would be catastrophic". In addition, it has opted for innovation and R&D so that SMEs can adapt to the "day after", because "there will be a different scenario" with "a different economy", and has asked the Government that, in the event of a regrowth of the pandemic, "don't stop the economy."

For his part, Rosa Ferrando, director of Brócoli Services, company dedicated to the provision of services that have been essential during the crisis such as hygiene and disinfection of spaces, has highlighted the economic importance of its sector. Although, it has made a call in favor of the group of SMEs, so that the Government, in this reconstruction phase, deploys "durable and sustainable policies" and "provides sufficient financing and liquidity". "We cannot assume fiscal reforms that raise taxes, we need reforms that make us more competitive," he said, to conclude: "The role of companies is fundamental; Only with solvent companies can we build the path to recovery. ”

To close this seventh day, he has intervened Verónica Pascual, CEO of ASTI Mobile Robotics, who has called for "so much suffering not to be in vain". "Entrepreneurs must continue contributing, responding to our customers," he said, with innovative solutions and creating quality employment. Likewise, it has urged to increase collaboration between the academic and business world and to reinforce the industrial strategy, among other things, to have a "more balanced" GDP.

Tomorrow, the last day of this business summit, it will be the turn of the geopolitical and the vision of Autonomous communities through the participation of business organizations that are part of CEOE. The interventions may be followed by streaming at the following link: www.ceoe.es/nuestrofuturocomun and they will consist of an intervention by each of the participants at the tables without questions.

Likewise, all the interventions will be available the same day of their celebration on the CEOE youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/CEOETV/videos.

The photos of today's conference are available at the following download link:


The copyright of the photos belongs to David Mudarra

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