With the uncertainty of who will lead the Ministry of Industry after the formation of the new Government, the large Spanish industry integrated into the Alliance for Competitiveness has asked Pedro Sánchez’s new executive this Friday for a series of measures to boost the secondary sector and stop its loss of economic weight, which is increasingly moving away from the objective of 20% of GDP set by the European Commission. The business forum basically demands three issues: the recognition of the head of the matter as Secretary of State (he is now Secretary General) to be able to participate in the preparation of the councils of ministers, establish the Government Delegate Commission for Industrial Policy and create a State agency with operational capacity to work in a coordinated manner with the different autonomous communities. “Spanish industrial policy needs a new governance that allows complete coordination of the Government,” the organization concludes.
The proposals of the forum, made up of nine of the main Spanish employers’ associations that represent 55% of GDP, arise from a rather negative diagnosis. They denounce a situation that hampers their activity due to “disproportionate energy costs, an intense and changing overregulation plagued by overlaps and slow bureaucratic procedures, the absence of technological neutrality, a high fiscal pressure and a new geopolitical reality that threatens, not only the chain of supply and strategic autonomy, but also access to foreign markets.”
The forum considers that in recent years industrial policy has not been considered with adequate relevance, evidenced by the fact that industrial policy is not executed by a person with the rank of Secretary of State, just when industrial policy has emerged on the map. European in the wake of the pandemic crisis. “It is an obvious thermometer – but only the tip of the iceberg – of the level of priority that governments give to the competitive development of their productive fabric,” says the organization, which considers the coordination and influence capacity of the current general secretariat “insufficient.” . In recent years, for example, many businessmen have considered that Spanish industrial policy was always below other government areas, such as the energy transition.
Constitution of a Delegated Commission
Creates the Alliance for Competitiveness, whose rotating spokesperson now falls to the Feique chemical employers’ association, in the need to establish a Government Delegate Commission for Industrial Policy, which would precisely serve to coordinate different governmental bodies more or less involved with industrial policy. They refer, for example, to energy and environmental policies, infrastructure or the availability of raw materials, among other fields. This commission would also have to design Spanish strategic autonomy.
For the execution of this policy that may emanate from the commission, they demand the constitution of a state agency, the executing arm of the policies. To carry out this work, it should have economic and human resources and sufficient operational capacity to manage investment resources, promote a single window that reduces administrative burden and coordinate the 17 autonomous communities. Legislative and administrative overlap is one of the barriers that the Alliance has been denouncing in recent years.
The latest request they make is based on the High Level Forum of Spanish Industry, a meeting point in the sector between the Government, employers and unions. The organization calls for an evolution to turn it into an Industrial Policy Advisory Council, also with more executive power when designing strategies.
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