Tapia: “Self-government and control of taxation, together with industrial and innovation policies, are our competitiveness factors”. The Minister endorsed the capability of the Basque business fabric and presented it as the “hidden champion” of Europe. The German Association for Small and Medium-sized Businesses, BVMW, acknowledged its interest in strengthening contacts with Basque companies.
The BMW office building in Berlin hosted the Basque Country, a Hidden Champion and destination for innovative companies event, at which Arantxa Tapia, Basque Government Minister for Economic Development and Competitiveness, presented a Basque Country “with its doors open to companies”.
The event was organised by BVMW, the German Association for Small and Medium-sized Businesses, in collaboration with SPRI’s Munich office, aimed at presenting the Basque Country as an advanced industrial region and an ideal destination for German businesses.
Tapia presented a country with innovative potential, ready to welcome foreign investment, and with a business network able to provide German companies with high added value products and services. “The Basque Country and its business fabric are the hidden champion of Europe”, she stated.
Self-government and control of taxation: competitiveness factors
In her speech, the Minister highlighted that self-government and the region’s own taxation policy system are competitiveness factors for the Basque Country, along with its innovation and internationalisation policies, as well as intangible elements associated with trust and the degree of reliability of the country as a whole.
In referring to internationalisation, the Minister acknowledged that progress must be made in the degree of openness of the Basque Country. The Basque Government has a presence in 70 countries in the world, and “we are aware that we must go deeper into opening up the economy and in internationalising the whole society to the outside world”.
The Basque Government has participated in this event in the context of its “Invest in Basque Country” strategy, to attract investments, while in the case of Germany, the intended aim is to intensify existing business relationships between the two countries.
To this end, the event included being able to count on the intervention of the CEO of the PMG-Polmetasa Group, Michael Krehl, who explained the experience of the German company, which has been established in the Basque Country since 1991. Its plant located in Arrasate has become a strategic asset, not only as production resources but by becoming the competence centre of one of the Group’s business units.
The Basque Country, a “hidden champion” in Europe
We must recognise that economic relations between the Basque Country and Germany have already come some way, but there is a lot to improve and strengthen. For decades we have taken technology and innovation very seriously and we are working, in collaboration with Germany, on the implementation of Industry 4.0.
Euskadi has been presented as a “hidden champion”, with the singularity of its self-government and the immense potential of its business fabric, committed to a local scope of decision-making and production while aiming to expand its role in new markets and with new international partners.