The music we hear we like, but we will give our opinion when we see its translation to the General Budgets of the State ". This is how Pedro Mier (Figueres, Girona, 1952) responds to the question of whether there is harmony between Ametic and the Government of Pedro Sánchez, about whether the commitment to digitize the Executive is strong enough. Mier assumed the leadership of the Spanish employers in the sector of the digital technology industry in March 2017 and, he acknowledges, is still taking the pulse of the Executive. "They have said that they will not change any policy that was already advanced by the previous Government, which does not seem bad to us; They also say that they want to give the industry a very important boost via digitalisation ", explains Mier.
How much money should be devoted to the promotion of the digital industry to give it an adequate boost? "We propose the launching of four transversal tractor macro projects, which we have already exposed to all political forces. We have selected four basic areas: connected vehicle and mobility, digital health, tourism and intelligent agriculture ", underlines Mier. "We want them to be projects of sufficient scope to have a national impact and international relevance. The budget per project should not be below 100 million euros, "he says. That is, at least 400 million to boost the four key areas of the digital industry. This has been recently transferred to Red.es, the public business entity dedicated to the promotion of the digital economy.
Mier also vindicates the ability of Ametic to achieve the meeting in common projects between the largest and smallest players in the sector (it is spectrum of associates of the employer's association from Google or Amazon to SMEs). A project coordinated by the employer was the development of a vehicle opening system from the mobile designed for the carsharing. "In the project we have Seat and the Volkswagen Group; to a Spanish company that is a world leader in wireless keys (Premu group); the GMV group, world leader in access and control of satellite systems; to a spin off from the University of the Basque Country that develops chips and BQ, the Spanish mobile manufacturing company, "he illustrates.
One of the star proposals of the Executive of Sanchez in economic matters is the so-called Google rate, inspired by a draft European Directive and recently renamed by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, as "a taxation for the XXI century" . The Government advanced last week that will come into effect next year and that will entail a tax of 3% on advertising revenue, data sales and transactions between individuals for operations of three million euros or more made by companies that bill the minus 750 million euros per year worldwide.
Mier does not agree with the Government's approach. "We defend that the digital industry is the first generator of growth and employment. And it will be more during the next years. If we want to maintain the welfare state and pensions, we must do so because there are more contributors and more and better paid employment. We believe that the industry should be given priority, "he explains.
People are very aware that some technological giants pay few taxes in Spain. How would you approach the matter from Ametic? "Within the OECD a new legal framework for technology is being discussed. We are aware of the complexities of the process. If we think of differential treatments according to the countries, the companies will go where you have the most favorable conditions. A fee that affects the activity and not the benefits can be unfair, "he says. "We must get a system that ensures that there are no countries benefited and harmed. It is complicated to give a local treatment to a global issue by nature ".
The government's management of the conflict between the taxi and companies like Uber and Cabify does not satisfy Ametic either. "It is not good to put doors to the field. We believe that all regulations should maximize the possibilities of economic development. I think it is a mistake to set a deadline for VTC licenses to disappear almost completely. In the same way, we must take into account the rights acquired by taxi drivers. Users in the end what we want is good service, competition, access facilities, traceability … everything that new technologies give you, "he explains.
In what way, then, would this problem be addressed? "It would be necessary to design a transition plan, not the VTC licenses but the opening of the market, so that everyone could play with the same rules but in a modern market", ditch. In his opinion, the solution would not happen to promote compensatory measures, but also. "Facilities will have to be provided, as long as it has been through an important technological transition, and this is so, so that taxis can also compete in this field. It is the taxi that is going to have to change: we must not put restrictions on innovation, but facilities so that the traditional business innovates and can adapt. "
Hence, the last measure launched by the Government, which is to transfer to the autonomous communities the power to regulate the VTC (which in practice could mean the requirement of a second license to operate), not to your liking. "This measure does not go in the direction of favoring innovation, but of giving local solutions to global problems. I think it's not the way. "