Bernardo Velázquez: “A powerful industry is vital for the country's prosperity”

The CEO of Acerinox participates in the Business Summit organised by the CEOE

ceoe bernardo
Bernardo Velázquez during his speech in the CEOE. (Photo: David Mudarra)

The CEO of Acerinox and Chairman of Unesid, Bernardo Velázquez, participated this morning in the ‘Spanish companies leading the future’ Business Summit organised by the CEOE (The Confederation of Employers and Industries of Spain).

 

Following an introduction by the Chairman of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, Velázquez began his speech by sending his condolences to “the families of those who have passed away from coronavirus” and expressing his gratitude to “those who have been on the front line during this pandemic”.

The Chief Executive of Acerinox gave his speech during the round table dedicated to the industrial sector, and began by recalling that the regions in which industry makes up a higher proportion of their GDP have better maintained employment and have recovered better than the average after the last crisis". He also emphasised that the Group’s decision-making centres are in Spain; "it is a privilege to work for a Spanish multinational", he stressed.

He said that "it is necessary to stimulate the economy in the short term by boosting demand” as well as “ensuring the competitiveness of the industry and the real economy in the long term”.

Velázquez explained that in "the industry sector we compete to attract investments and business from other countries, and even within our own business groups“, and considered fundamental "the flexibility of companies to adapt to business cycles”.

Furthermore, he highlighted "the need to count on young talent, attract young people and promote good vocational training geared to the needs of the industry, with programmes in which industrial companies can participate through dual training”.

To be able to compete and avoid the relocation of production plants, "we need a competitive energy price, which is one of the burdens of our industry", since the differentiating elements in order to compete are "our productivity and efficiency" and the "only local components of our costs are electricity and labour".

Velázquez also recalled the efforts that the industry is making in Sustainability in general, and offered Acerinox as an example, stating that in its process the company "emits 30% less CO2 than the sector’s global average and shipments from Asia to Spain represent approximately 20% of the emissions of our processes. Simply put, we can say that closing Acerinox in Spain would reduce our emissions as a country but we would be emitting 50% more worldwide”.