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World Economic Forum: Economic recovery passes through Davos | Business

Davos is the place. There, in the Swiss Alps, where Thomas Mann placed the magic mountain where patients from families with power went to be cured of tuberculosis, the future of the world is discussed every year at the World Economic Forum. And there, today a highly requested winter season, the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, has moved this week to seek new airs to promote recovery, transformation and resilience projects, but especially to project plans in the microchip sector and semiconductors to turn Spain into a world power.

The WEF (as the forum is known by its acronym in English) was the brainchild of German economics professor Klaus M. Schwab, who in 1971 wanted the Swiss town to be a meeting point for the business world to discuss and improve forms of management of corporations. Two years later, because of the first major oil crisis, he extended the invitations to political leaders. And that’s where it all started. The forum became an essential appointment in the agendas of some and others. Since then the guidelines of the international relations of the globalized world have been cooked. And you can’t stop being if you want to be something or someone.

This year, in which the event was recovered in person after two years of pandemic although moving it, it is not known if provisionally, from winter January to spring May by the omicron, it has been held under a motto —History at a turning point: Government policies and business strategies— which put on the table the importance of what was at stake there. A lot of weight in the backpacks: war in Ukraine, energy crisis, food shortages, high indebtedness and risk of a debt crisis, runaway inflation, recovery plans still to advance, the permanent impact of covid… Too many elements to be convinced that we must prepare for a new crisis.

A change in the paradigm with pessimistic overtones in which Sánchez tried to put on his good face by selling optimism in spurts for his country. The president, quite reluctant to attend business conventions in Spain, is looking forward to Davos, where he can comfortably express himself in English and rub shoulders with international political and economic figures.

Sánchez spoke on Tuesday and, as the climax of his speech, highlighted the public aid plan worth more than 12,000 million euros that his Government had just approved that morning (in the Council of Ministers chaired by Nadia Calviño), a PERTE ( strategic project for economic recovery and transformation) to develop the aforementioned microchip and semiconductor industry. “Spain will not lose the race,” said Sánchez, convinced of being able to compete with the Asian industry.

The president is right. The bet cannot be more strategic and for the future. The supply crisis suffered by several industrial sectors, such as the automotive or household appliances sector, during the pandemic due to the lack of microchips demonstrates the need to expand competition, while at the same time it is an opportunity for Spain.

He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.

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With that speech, in the afternoon, he met with directors of multinationals in the sector, such as Intel, Qualcomm, Micron and Cisco. Intel, specifically, announced that it will invest 200 million in Barcelona, ​​the same amount that Spain will provide from the funds, to develop a microchip laboratory.

In a meeting with a small group of Spanish businessmen present there, he conveyed his “well-founded hopes of success”. Among them was José María Álvarez-Pallete, president of Telefónica, who may be a very interested actor in the project, in addition to the presidents of BBVA, Carlos Torres Vila; from Iberdrola, Ignacio Sánchez Galán; from Naturgy, Francisco Reynés; of Ferrovial, Rafael del Pino, and the CEO of Repsol, Josu Jon Imaz.

They all showed him their conviction that the future passes through sustainability and digitization and that green and digital transitions go hand in hand. In addition to asking for maximum ambition in these transitions, they conveyed concern about the energy crisis, the main focus of attention on which the forum focused this year on the search for alternatives to reduce dependence on Russia, and the need to have a stable framework for renewable energies.

On this front, Spain, which recently achieved Iberian exceptionality together with Portugal, plays the card of a privileged position in these technologies. The encounter with Dilham Pillay, chief executive of Temasek, a sovereign wealth fund from Singapore that has interests in Spain, especially in the transport of liquefied natural gas that it bought from Iberdrola, which it wants to expand to other businesses taking advantage of European funds.

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