The President of the Government of Spain takes part in the 51st edition of the World Economic Forum

Pedro Sánchez highlights the strength of the Spanish economy and the investment opportunities it offers for technology companies in Davos

President's News - 24.5.2022

Davos (Switzerland)

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has taken part in the 51st edition of the World Economic Forum, which is held annually in the Swiss city of Davos. After the cancellation of the 2021 event due to COVID-19, this year's event takes place at a crucial economic moment for the world, with the need to find solutions to the most urgent global challenges, such as the war unleashed by Vladimir Putin, the pandemic and climate change.

During his keynote speech at the Forum, President Sánchez stressed that the invasion of Ukraine is not just a local or even a European conflict. It is an international crisis of the first magnitude, with consequences for all.

"We must be fully aware of what lies ahead. Russia's invasion of Ukraine is causing an unprecedented global food crisis, with dramatic consequences for the most vulnerable countries, families and individuals. 1.7 billion people are at risk of food insecurity", according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

Pedro Sánchez has reiterated the commitment to the Ukrainian people and to maintaining financial and humanitarian support, along with sanctions against Putin's regime. "Ukrainians are fighting for freedom and democracy. Not only for theirs, but also for ours. I feel the courage and dignity of Ukrainians in confronting Putin's brutal aggression. Today, they embody the true defence of our common European values.

Economic strength

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Fernando Calvo

Within this framework of combating adversity, overcoming "external, extreme and unpredictable" factors of enormous impact, the President of the Government of Spain has highlighted the strengths inherent in the Spanish economy, "which give us reasons to be optimistic". He also stressed that "Spain is containing the damage better than other economies", thanks to the transformative agenda promoted by the government, with a clear vision and roadmap for the modernisation of the country.

The Spanish economy grew by 6.4% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022 and GDP is estimated to rise by 4.3% at the end of the year. Of the five largest eurozone economies, Spain remains the one that will grow the most this year, while inflation figures remain in line with those of other eurozone economies. Employment is up. The all-time record of more than 20 million people in the social security system has recently been surpassed; the fiscal deficit is down; and two core sectors of our economy (exports and tourism) are almost back to their pre-pandemic levels.

Bilaterals with technology companies

The President of the Government of Spain has held bilateral meetings with the CEOs of the technology multinationals Intel (Pat Gelsinger), Cisco (Chuck Robbins), Micron Technology (Szanjay Mehrotra) and Qualcomm (Cristiano Amon). The political will has thus been expressed at the highest level for Spain to be a key player in the global semiconductor value chain, leading the common goal of locating 20% of world production in Europe, which is essential in achieving strategic autonomy.

Sánchez explained the Strategic Project (PERTE) on semi-conductors approved today by the Council of Ministers. Allocated more that €12 billion, it is the most ambitious of those included in the NextGenerationEU Plan, which guides the government's modernisation agenda for our country.

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Fernando Calvo

Pedro Sánchez has assured that Spain will not lose the race for the most advanced technologies: "We want to be at the forefront of industrial and technological progress and be the industry's best partner in its efforts to expand and diversify microchip production to cope with growing demand, geopolitical destabilisation and supply chain disruptions.

Green Pact

President Sánchez also participated in the panel on energy, security and the European Green Pact.

In the panel, he explained the three main areas in which the Government of Spain is developing its modernising agenda for the country: green transition and the fight against climate change, for which "there is no vaccine", and into which €30 billion, 40% of its NextGenerationEU funds, is being channelled; digital transformation (with a comprehensive vision); and education and attracting talent, because "human capital and knowledge are the engine that drives economic growth".

Other meetings

Pedro Sánchez held bilateral meetings with the President of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, with whom he discussed the forthcoming international summit for the reconstruction of Ukraine, which is currently taking shape, and with the President of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab.

He also met with the CEO of Arcelor Mittal, Lashmi N. Mittal, with whom he discussed the decarbonisation process being carried out by the metallurgical multinational, with a plant in Asturias, and the CEO of the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore Tamasek, Dilham Pillay, who is interested in the strength of the Spanish economy to take advantage of the interesting investment opportunities offered by our country.

He also met with the President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, to discuss the global food crisis caused by Putin's war, and the dramatic consequences it is having on the most vulnerable economies.

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Fernando Calvo

President Sánchez was one of the keynote speakers at a dinner to discuss Europe's role as a global player in the world, together with the President of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, the European Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, and the Prime Ministers of Greece and Luxembourg, Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Xavier Bettel, respectively. The Third Vice-President of the Government of Spain, Teresa Ribera, also attended.

For Pedro Sánchez, the relevance and need for "more Europe" has been proven once again, both with COVID-19 and now after Russia's brutal aggression.

"After Brexit, many people said that the EU would disappear or become irrelevant. This is far from certain. On the contrary, the EU is more necessary and in demand than ever", the President concluded.

Last, the President participated as guest of honour in the closing event organised by Qualcomm, together with more than fifty CEOs and executives from companies attending the World Economic Forum.

Non official translation