On 3 December the Pacte Industrial of the RMB held the 40th meeting of its Executive Committee, which was attended by representatives of the local councils and other organisations that make up the association. The meeting took place at the Palauet de Can Buxeres conference centre and culminated with an address from Joan Majó, the former Minister of Industry and ex-President of the General Council of the Pacte Industrial, who spoke about the current state of industry in Europe and its prospects for the future.
During the meeting, the respective chairs of the Working Committees reported on the activities they had carried out and those which are ongoing and planned for 2015. Once such activity is the forthcoming publication of the study entitled “Reflections on Freight Mobility for Industrial Estates in the Barcelona Metropolitan Region”, which will be the first publication in the collection of Pacte Industrial Papers. At the start of November a draft of the study was presented during a working session of the Mobility Committee.
Also with regard to forthcoming publications, albeit in this instance in the area of economic activity, attention was drawn to the preparation of the study entitled “The Support Network for the Economic Internationalisation of the Barcelona Metropolitan Region”. The draft paper of this study was discussed at a meeting of the Economic Activity Committee held earlier in July this year.
In addition to the Pacte Industrial’s other ongoing activities, the Managing Coordinator Carles Rivera highlighted the association’s new efforts to add more value to its local government members, along with the recent publication of the Pacte Industrial’s Quadern (White Paper) 11, entitled “The Future of the Automobile Industry in the RMB”, which is soon to be presented.
What Form Must the New Industry in Europe Take?
Joan Majó, the former Minister of Industry and President of the General Council of the Pacte Industrial from 1997 to 2006, drew the meeting to a close with a talk on “The New Industry in Europe”. He began his talk by stating that “industry has a future, and woe betide us if it doesn’t”, before moving on to highlight the fact that “the European recovery can only come about through a recovery in exports, and its exports are fundamentally industrial in nature”. For Majó, industrial activity plays a key role given that it enables exports to be made and creates jobs of a more technological nature that enjoy higher salaries.
The ex-Minister of Industry argued that, in today’s context, it is necessary to rethink what constitutes “industry”, as it should not be confused with manufacturing. “Manufacturing is just a part of it; in the value chain of industrial activity there are many things that are not manufacturing – things that we used to call ‘services’ – and which now form part of industrial activity”, he affirmed. In the industrial process, he continued, there are stages that occur prior and subsequent to the manufacturing stage that can add just as much – or even more – to the value chain and generate jobs with greater added value. “That is why products have an increasingly larger number of non-material components”, Majó declared. He went on to conclude that the new industry must focus on three vital elements: the efficient use of materials, the efficient use of energy, and R&D.