20 abr 2016
CEOE General Assembly

Closing speech at CEOE’s General Assembly delivered by the King

Juan Rosell: "We need a new and long period of growth"

CEOE’s President, Juan Rosell, said that economic data is positive but that companies have been posting losses, not profits and, therefore, “we need a new and long period of growth”, it won’t be enough with two years, “we need at least a ten-year run”.
With these words Rosell was referring to the general aspects of Spain’s economic policy in his speech before CEOE’s General Assembly, where the closing speech was delivered by King Felipe VI, and before whom he highlighted the support, backing and understanding shown by the Spanish monarchy towards the country’s entrepreneurs.

CEOE General Assembly
CEOE General Assembly — ©David Mudarra

At the same closing ceremony, the president of BBV, Francisco González, also spoke. The Assembly was attended by the Minister of Employment and Social Security, Fátima Báñez, and UGT union leader, José María Álvarez, as well as by leading representatives of the economic, business and financial worlds.

Despite the positive data on GDP, employment, exports, investment and consumption in many sectors, Rosell said that we have not managed to return to 2007 levels, and we have not been able to reduce deficit or debt ratios, which could “weight down on the future economy”. Neither have we been able to take advantage of “the global economy’s favourable tail winds”, with interest rates that “will not last forever”, very affordable oil prices, a euro/dollar exchange favourable to exports and an international scenario that has gone from crisis to growth, mainly in emerging countries.

In his view, we must build a stronger economy based on education and training, internationalization and collective bargaining.
He said that the balance of the Spanish society and economy over the last forty years cannot “simply depreciate; quite the opposite, it needs to be turned back to positive, and it must be used to, fearlessly, reform, adapt, modernize and digitise, with structures in line with the current times", and also the actual structure of the State, which he called "out of date ".

The president of the Spanish entrepreneurs pointed out that the management of public money "should be assessed and conducted with the maximum diligence." "It can and must be managed with new technologies," said Rosell.
As for the new political landscape, he stressed that “the sooner it becomes resolved, the better”, emphasizing that entrepreneurs are interested in the final programmes from political parties and “the roadmap from each and every one of them”, which he believes “cannot be very different to the one we would draw up ourselves”.

He stated that it would be necessary to strengthen institutions in order to provide them with solid structures. “We should not take leaps of faith, but neither should we leave things as they are”, continued Juan Rosell, who said to be in favour of restructuring the State of the Autonomous Regions to make it “politically effective but also economically sustainable.” The President of CEOE would like to see “not a larger Government, but a better one”. With regards to public spending, he said that the different services should use the new technologies and the best possible management system, adding that "tolerated squandering cannot be accepted".
Creativity and dynamism
At the closing ceremony of the Assembly, His Majesty the King stated that CEOE is “an example of the role played by the civil society in favour of the common good" and that entrepreneurs embody the "creativity and dynamism" needed by society. In his opinion, it is clear that the growth of our economy would not be possible without the effort, the ability to overcome obstacles and the sacrifice of the many citizens and “the good work of many companies who have fought in the front line against the crisis and who have managed to adapt to new circumstances.”
He thinks that the Spanish society needs strong and solid companies, "which must at the forefront of management and technology" and he said that in order to consolidate the current growth, boost competitiveness and move forward in internationalization "it is important to nurture the best possible collaboration between employers and the Administration. "
New technologies
On the other hand, the President of BBVA, Francisco González, said at the beginning of the closing ceremony that CEOE is one of the core Spanish organizations and has been able to bring together multiple interests within a sole organization.
He insisted on the need to join the new digital economy, which will bring knowledge and well-being and which is at the centre of the processes of change taking place in the banking sector and the fourth industrial revolution.  Elements like Big Data, the Cloud, Natural Language or mobile technologies open the door to productivity gains and cost reductions.
González referred to the international elements that are having an impact on the economy’s behaviour such as China, oil prices or the situation of immigrants in Europe. For the President of BBVA, it is surprising for productivity to decline as a result of the technological revolution, when the latter is the one that could enable growth and well-being.
Finally, he stressed that leadership is critical to the future of Europe.