The Economy Minister, Nadia Calviño, showed on Wednesday her optimism about the Spanish economy and its future at the inauguration of South Summit 18, the annual meeting of start-ups which is celebrated in Madrid. Calviño stressed that the Spanish economy is "solid" and has a balanced growth, which is why it constitutes a "good environment to innovate". In fact, it has highlighted the "maturity of the Spanish ecosystem of start-ups", That every year gets more investment and recalled that during the last year," the entrepreneurial activity has recovered pre-crisis levels ", and there are already six entrepreneurs for every 100 inhabitants.
In addition to a large audience, Calviño has been accompanied on stage by the president of Telefónica, José María Álvarez Pallete, or by the future president of BBVA and today CEO, Carlos Torres. Before them, he has expressed the importance that the Government grants to the universe of start-ups and entrepreneurship, reviewing some of the initiatives that the Government has in place or in mind. Thus, he has cited as an example the secretariat of State of Digital Advance, "a sign that digital is an increasingly important part of the economy".
In addition to recalling the entrepreneurship figures, the minister said that the start-ups "They contribute to employment, and to quality employment: six out of 10 already work and mostly with permanent and full-time contracts." He also said that the universe of new companies brings good news from a gender perspective. "The difference between men and women is reduced, although still 55% of entrepreneurs are men," he said, and has been pleased by the presence of "so many women" at the event. However, it has recognized that, despite its maturity, which gives encouragement to optimism, Spain has less start-ups than the surrounding countries. Therefore, he said, the Government works "to improve the environment of start-ups and favor its growth and consolidation ".
Minutes before, in the previous panel, Kike Sarasola, president of the hotel chain Room Mate, has criticized the "stupid" regulations that curb recent phenomena such as tourist apartments, business that has entered Sarasola, or competing companies with the taxi for the transport of passengers in the cities. Juan de Antonio, founder of Cabify, speaker at the same talk as Sarasola, has reproached the government last week's decree that gives the autonomies the ability to require additional licenses to the VTC to the companies that operate with them, which in practice it will make many of them stop working.
Against this, Calviño has pointed out that the Government intends to combine support for infrastructures – "we try to invest to continue in the starting posts of the new digital times", he said- with the idea of "entrepreneurial nation" announced by the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, citing projects such as digital schools or the development of "pilot projects" for the new 5G networks "that will revolutionize the way of working and living" with innovations in autonomous transport, in emergencies or telemedicine. "We have to be the first country to reach an optimum level in these networks and the road map of the 5G is being met rigorously," he said.
Pallete: "We have to put the human being in the center"
The president of Telefónica, José María Álvarez Pallete, who spoke briefly before Calviño and then in another scenario, has underlined the importance of education and the values of humanism to "channel" the technological revolution in which the world is immersed. He believes that current generations are "lucky" to be living in an era of "a level of change that had never occurred", with technological advances increasingly fast, that almost does not take time to absorb. "It's going to change everything, the change is exponential, and humans are not used to thinking exponentially, but linearly," he reiterated. smartphone it is the precedent of a deeper and accelerated revolution that will come in the next three or five years, "he said.
That change, which will produce new jobs, new ways of relating and "trillions" of economic value, "we have to channel it, know how we want it to happen," he has claimed. We have to define new rules for this new reality and that's where humanism comes in. "We have to put the human being in the center," he said, before debates as an expectation of increased life, the possibility of manipulating public opinion or the use of technology by minors. "You have to combine technology with the social sciences, channel it, to make sure no one is left behind."
Within this framework, Enlighted has been part of the South Summit dedicated to education and sponsored by Telefónica. Pallete hopes that Enlighted serves as a forum to host "world-class" debates on these issues, "so that educational institutions, teachers, thinkers and others involved think about what the future should be like," because "nobody is totally prepared for the future that is going to come". "It will be very good if we channel it socially acceptable," he has sentenced.
"In access to knowledge," he said, "society will not allow certain asymmetries," which is why he stressed that Telefonica has long supported initiatives related to education, among which the Technological Institute of Telefónica has listed, the Corporate University or the recent contest for educational start-ups, to which 600 companies presented themselves, all in the field of Fundación Telefónica.