Spain occupies 37th place in the IMD competitiveness ranking, behind countries such as Poland, the UK, France, Austria and Belgium, with its country of reference, Germany, occupying tenth place. The crisis of these past years should have served to reposition Spain’s commerce, hotel business and industry and, to a certain extent, it has. The number of overseas visitors has broken records thanks to the competitiveness of the country’s offer of tourism, hotel infrastructures, air transport, commerce and our enviable natural and cultural resources. However there is one sector that has not lived up to expectations: industry. In 2006, manufacturing represented 15.5% of GDP and following the crisis, it had plummeted to 13.2%.
The European Union is convinced that industry represents the economic basis on which to maintain and increase the level of well-being of its members, setting a target for 2020 for it to represent 20% of GDP. There are four obvious reasons to prioritise the stimulus of industry: industrial salaries are considerably higher than those of sales or services; every industrial job generates one or two in other fields; 80% of innovations come from industry; and, lastly, 80% of exports are industrial products.
At the start of the crisis, manufacturing represented 23% of Germany’s GDP. Today that percentage has barely changed, standing at 22.3%. Without making comparisons, we should ask ourselves how in Germany it has managed to remain constant while Spain’s GDP has dropped year after year with no turning point. Perhaps the answer is that in Europe competition is fierce and orders are won and lost due to price differences, sometimes by a mere 1%. Any issue that impacts on competitiveness has to be taken into account because therein lies the key. Read more…
President of GasINDUSTRIAL
Article published in: FuturENERGY October 2015