The Industrial Situation Observatory confirms the backdrop of economic uncertainty, but only four of the twenty associations and main clusters expect jobs to be lost. The brightest outlook is in the most globalised sectors, and with higher technology products the aeronautics, machine tool, vehicle production and metal forging sectors expect to achieve an increase in turnover and maintain employment figures. Bernabé Unda, the Regional Minister for Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism, stressed that the real competitiveness indicator is export, which beat the Basque Country’s all-time record in 2011 with sales of over 21,000 million euros.
Basque Government, 26/04/2012
The Basque business associations and clusters basically expect to maintain their turnover and employment figures in the first half of this year, despite the persistence of the economic crisis. Most of the 20 associations and clusters that attended the Industrial Situation Observatory’s plenary meeting held today at Miñano Technology Park expect to be able to weather the economic difficulties. The brightest outlook is in the most globalised sectors, and with higher technology products the aeronautics, machine tool, vehicle production and metal forging sectors expect to achieve an increase in turnover and maintain employment, while prospects remain more negative in the construction and paper industries and the audiovisual sector. As regards employment, only four of the twelve main clusters expect jobs to be lost and seven believe the figures will remain stable.
The Industrial Situation Observatory is an initiative of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism and its public company SPRI, which holds a half-yearly plenary meeting attended by Bernabé Unda, the Department’s senior officials and the general secretaries, directors or managers of the sector associations and clusters representing the whole of Basque industry. Each sector’s situation is presented at this meeting, followed by a debate on the competitiveness factors concerning each one.
The Regional Minister for Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism, Bernabé Unda, officially opened today’s plenary meeting and stressed that export is the true indicator of competitiveness, “and it’s going well”. Last year in fact, the Basque Country reached its all-time export record with sales of over 21,000 million euros. “If we’re able to sell abroad – and we are indeed – then we’re competitive. All our investment needs to be reflected in external trade, and we need that investment to increase.”
Mr. Unda recalled the fact that this has been reflected on at Harvard University, which chose the Basque Country as a model region for world competitiveness. The reflection can be summed up in the fact that companies need to resist so that they can compete on the basis of international expansion, market-oriented technology, entrepreneurship and funding. All these policies are priorities for the Department of Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism as the parliamentary term draws to a close.
The Observatory’s conclusions included underlining the positive nature of the cluster model and inter-cluster activity, which generates new business opportunities and greater competitiveness. The participants agreed that strength in numbers is the key, and proof of this is in the merge of the machinery and machine tool component producers’ associations in 2011.