Now, more than ever, we need to boost our manufacturing capacity and make it the backbone of our economic vision, a vision which must finely balance wealth creation with the utmost social cohesion.
It is clear that the most competitive regions of the world are those where advanced industry constitutes a large part of the economy, to such an extent, that it has become their main motor of wealth creation. According to a study undertaken by Harvard Business School, industrial companies spin off, on average, 2 to 5 jobs in the rest of economy. They have been shown to be the most substantial part of international commerce, which through the generation of surplus, has a critical role in the financing of imports. The industrial sector is also the main investor in applied research and innovation, with R&D representing around 70% of their costs. They are also the main contributors to the development of value-added services, which in turn, create highly skilled jobs.
Industrial policies of the future need to be the cornerstone of a model aimed at reducing existing income inequalities and constituting a large nucleus of participating companies. We must, thus, develop an industrial ecosystem where the competitiveness of a company is supported by all sectors, irrespective of whichever particular field that company may be in.
I believe that our industrial policy-making must develop and implement an integrated strategy, with investment in science, technology and innovation at its core. In addition, we require a revamped education system which would lead to a high value manufacturing industry, the integration of new technologies and business models, along with democratising the company. Furthermore, all these measures necessarily go hand-in-hand with a fiscal policy which supports businesses who have the aforementioned goals in mind. Although we have made great strides, we must continue to intensify our commitment given the growing complexity of international competition.
Our public industrial policy must favour the processes of business transformation in order to assist companies in successfully achieving an international presence. In addition, public policy should contribute to the development of integrated solutions and products, while broadening knowledge of loyal final clients, since our country’s industry is currently more focused on the process than on the product. Furthermore, our public industrial policy needs to be designed in such a way that we may incorporate emerging technologies into the manufacturing process; amongst others, these technologies would include bits, genome, neurons, and clean technology. Finally, policy must encourage co-operation and the development of minimum company sizes in order to compete more efficiently.
We truly need, at this time, to spur a social movement in our country which promotes industry and places companies at the heart of the process of wealth creation. Furthermore, we need to highlight and promote their social and economic contribution, recruiting the highest possible number of companies in the decision-making process. The ultimate goal, however, would be to establish elements of differentiation such as fair income distribution, the structuring of sustainable development projects, shared responsibility amongst all its members, and a commitment to the community.