26 mar 2019
Visit to Argentina

ANTONIO GARAMENDI PARTICIPATES IN A WORKING BREAKFAST WITH SPANISH AND ARGENTINIAN COMPANIES WITH THE PRESENCE OF H.M. KING FELIPE VI

Subsequently, the 3rd Ibero-American Forum for MSMEs will be presented and a MOU will be signed between CEOE and the UIA to promote the digitalization of SMEs.

Today, the president of CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, spoke at a working breakfast with Spanish and Argentinian businessmen, which was also attended by H.M. King Felipe VI and the president of the Nation, Mauricio Macri, within the framework of the official State visit of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain to Buenos Aires. This afternoon, Garamendi, together with the director of CEOE’s President’s Cabinet and of CEOE International, Narciso Casado, will hold a meeting with representatives of CEOE's counterpart organization, the UIA, with which it plans to launch a program to promote the digitalization of SMEs. 

Antonio Garamendi, with H.M. King Felipe VI and the president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri
The president of CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, with H.M. King Felipe VI and the president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, at a working breakfast with Spanish and Argentinian businessmen — ©Casa de S.M. el Rey

Moreover, CEOE’s travelling delegation, in collaboration with the SEGIB, the UIA and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the Republic of Argentina, will announce the celebration of the 3rd Ibero-American Forum for MSMEs, which will be held at the end of May in Buenos Aires. To prepare this event, they will meet with the Secretary of State for SMEs, Mariano Mayer, and with several Argentinian authorities and institutions, such as the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the Republic of Argentina.

 

Business meeting

Other attendants to the working breakfast among Spanish and Argentinian entrepreneurs included the Argentinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Jorge Faurie; the Argentinian Minister of Production and Labour, Dante Enrique Sica; the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Josep Borrell; the Secretary of State for Trade, Xiana Méndez; the Ambassador of Spain to Argentina, Javier Sandomingo; and the president of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, José Luis Bonet.

During the meeting, issues of interest were addressed, such as "the most relevant sectors of the Argentinian economy as possible drivers of growth in the short and medium term"; the potential investment opportunities in different sectors of the Latin American country in the long term, beyond the economic cycles; and the incorporation of new technologies to the activity of companies in Argentina. The Argentinian Secretary of International Economic Relations, Horacio Reyser, closed the event.

The president of CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, analysed the relevant economic sectors of the Argentinian economy in the short and medium term. In this regard, he highlighted very powerful sectors such as agriculture, livestock, agri-food, energy, metalworking industries and tourism.

Garamendi said that "all of them will continue to be the main drivers of growth in the long term, and they should be improved year after year, through the growing specialization and sophistication of the production processes and final products". He also explained that an adaptation process is required through innovation and the adoption of productive techniques and more advanced management models.

CEOE stressed the need for both countries (Spain and Argentina) to make a greater effort in the digitalization of their economies, innovation, education and training. These are the essential tools, he assured, not only to promote the emergence of a new generation of companies, but also to guarantee the competitiveness of the most traditional sectors of the economy, which will continue to be the axes of economic growth and of job creation.

In the case of Spain, Garamendi recalled that the need to push the economic and social transformation of our country led CEOE to ask the public administrations and society as a whole, through proposals such as the 2025 Digital Plan, to adopt policies and sectoral plans that enable businesses and citizens to benefit from the advantages of a new knowledge era.

 

Presentation of the 3rd Ibero-American Forum for MSMEs

This afternoon, CEOE, in collaboration with SEGIB, the UIA and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the Republic Argentina, presented the 3rd Ibero-American Forum for MSMEs, which will take place in Buenos Aires at the end of May. Garamendi said this is a joint initiative between SEGIB, the government of Argentina and the Council of Ibero-American Entrepreneurs, CEIB.

Garamendi stressed that the Ibero-American Forum for Micro, Small and Medium-sized companies intends to be a space for reflecting, exchanging good practices and discussing the reality of the Ibero-American SME, its support policies, new organizational models and the promotion of strategic alliances between countries.  The event’s target audience includes entrepreneurs, public officials responsible for policies, researchers and academics, representatives of multilateral organizations, representatives of business organizations and experts and representatives of Ibero-American associations linked to production.

The president of CEOE explained that the main goals of this new edition are focused on understanding the role of MSMEs within the new digital transformation underway, with new products, services and business models, which generate challenges and opportunities. Likewise, it seeks to inform about public programs and business organizations that aim to support the productivity of SMEs, their digital transformation and insertion into global value chains.

Garamendi also pointed out that it is important to discuss the best strategies to increase the intra-regional trade of MSMEs and explore initiatives that seek to interconnect entrepreneurial ecosystems, providing a regional perspective that goes beyond the national borders. "It is crucial to investigate the phenomenon of open innovation in Latin America, encouraging SMEs and start-ups to collaborate with large companies to innovate," he said.

Garamendi recalled that the previous edition was held at the headquarters of the CEOE in March 2018 and the agenda focused on the push from business organizations for the development of MSMEs, new financing instruments, innovation and productive transformation, inclusion of MSMEs in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and compliance with the SDGs.

 

MOU between CEOE and UIA

Today, the president of CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, and the president of its counterpart business organization (the UIA), Miguel Acevedo, will sign a memorandum of understanding that aims to promote the digitalization of Spanish and Argentinian SMEs. Likewise, they will promote and facilitate economic cooperation and commercial, productive and investment ties between both countries and they will collaborate in the organization of events, business visits and seminars to exchange information of common interest for companies.

The interaction between CEOE and the UIA will also involve institutions that actively work on the challenges associated with Industry 4.0 for SMEs and of which both organizations are prominent members, such as the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB) and the Global Business Coalition (GBC).

 

CEOE’s extensive activity in Argentina

CEOE’s President, Antonio Garamendi, highlighted during his visit to Buenos Aires the excellent relations we have with the Latin American country and the intense activity that CEOE has maintained with Argentina in recent years. Proof of this are the numerous meetings held at the headquarters of the Business Organization, such as those held with the Minister of Finance and Public Financing, Alfonso Prat-Gay; the Minister of Production, Francisco Cabrera; and the Spain-Argentina Meeting, held in March 2017 at CEOE, on the occasion of Mauricio Macri’s visit to our country, which was attended by more than 800 businessmen from both countries. In addition, a bilateral business meeting was also held, in which the provisional president of the Honourable Chamber of the Senate of the Congress of Argentina, Federico Pinedo and the Superintendent of Insurance, Juan Pazo, took part.