ICEX España Exportación e Inversiones and the Spanish Exporters and Investors Club organised ‘Global Forum Spain 2014: from stability to growth’, a meeting and debating point for top level international personalities from the political and corporate worlds and international institutions and organisations with responsibility for public policies. The first edition of this forum, the first major Spanish economic forum with an international dimension, took place in the Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao on 3 March. In future the forum will be held in other major Spanish cities.
The forum was attended by the Managing Director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde; the Secretary-General of the OECD, Ángel Gurría; the President of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem; the European Commissioners for Competition, Joaquín Almunia; for Internal Market and Services, Michel Barnier; and for Trade, Karel de Gucht; and the Chairman of the European Investment Bank, Werner Hoyer.
The forum was opened by the King of Spain, Juan Carlos I de España and President of the Government of Spain Mariano Rajoy closed the forum.
Corporate representation comprised top management of Telefónica, César Alierta; BBVA, Francisco González; Inditex, Pablo Isla; Técnicas Reunidas, José Lladó; Talgo, Carlos Palacio; Gestamp, Francisco José Riberas; Iberdrola, Ignacio Sánchez Galán; and SENER, Jorge Sendagorta, among others.
Keys to the global economy
The Forum served to facilitate discussions at the highest level about the economic policy that Europe needs in order to re-start a growth process capable of reducing the high rates of unemployment that persist in many European countries following the crisis that started in 2007.
The imbalances that preceded the outbreak of the crisis have led many European governments to adopt measures aimed at stabilising their economies financially, and also to strengthen their bases for growth by establishing structural reforms.
The need to overcome, once and for all, the consequences of the global financial crisis is overlaid, in the case of Europe, with the need to adapt growth models and economic policy to the new competitive conditions of a borderless world characterised by the rise of Asian and other emerging economies.
In this context, the internationalisation of the economy and of companies opens up avenues of growth and prosperity. Internationalisation has shown itself to be essential for strengthening companies’ competitive positioning and in short for laying the foundations for economic recovery in Spain and throughout Europe.
Discussion will focus on the following matters, which are also the headline topics of the sessions in the programme: ‘Is Europe in the Path to Sustainable Economic Growth?’; ‘Stability and Growth in the Euro area Economy’; ‘SME financing. Challenges and role in the European Recovery’; ‘The Competitiveness of the European Economy in a Global World’; ‘Reforms in Europe: Progress made and challenges ahead’; ‘Opportunities from Globalization for European Companies’; ‘Productivity, innovation and skills: keys for competitiveness’.