First meeting of the Lehendakari’s Advisory Board on Economic Affairs
This morning, a meeting was held to set up the Lehendakari's Advisory Board for Socioeconomic Affairs at the Palacio de Ajuria Enea. The board will have the job of providing the Lehendakari with strategic ideas on future policies to be adopted in different areas for the sustained economic development and social progress of the Basque Country.
The meeting, which began at 11 in the morning, was attended by 21 of the 25 members of the Board. The ex-Lehendakari and President of Euskaltel, Jose Antonio Ardanza, was not able to attend as he had suffered a heart attack that same morning. The Lehendakari and members of the Board expressed their regret at his absence and wished him a speedy recovery.
After greeting the members of the Board on their arrival and posing with them on the steps of the Palacio Ajuria Enea, the Lehendakari began the meeting by thanking them for agreeing to place all their experience at the service of the Basque Country. He then went on to explain the reasons behind the creation of the think tank, which will meet in ordinary sessions three times a year and in extraordinary session when required by the Lehendakari.
Its members, who come from the world of business, public administration and academia, will contribute their knowledge and criteria to the evaluation, diagnosis and supervision of different areas of the medium and long term development of the Basque economy, as well as to propose any future actions and reforms that may be considered appropriate.
The first subject proposed for the Board to study and debate was the growth model of the Basque Country and more specifically in which strategic sectors the Basque economy must compete in order to place it among the top economies.
Likewise, it was decided to establish an operating methodology based on a number of different Work Committees which will gather basic information and draw up reports prior to their analysis and debate at the plenary sessions of the Board.
The work of the Advisory Board will concentrate on the need to achieve a unified, sustainable and competitive society, placing people and especially jobs at the centre of its economic strategy.
The Board will not only debate the weaknesses and threats facing the Basque economy but also the necessary adaptation of its strengths and opportunities to secure a competitive position on the world markets.
The Board considered that it is necessary to consolidate the economic presence of the Basque Country with a view to the future, and to adapt the current economic structure and, in particular, the Basque industrial model to the challenges of globalisation.
Members of the Board reaffirmed their confidence in the ability of Basque industry to adapt in order to perform even better in those areas in which it has always excelled.
The Board considers that the challenges facing the education sector of the Basque Country involve the university sector, secondary education and vocational training, placing education not only had the service of knowledge, but also of values.
Finally, the Board gave its approval to the subjects that will be dealt with at its next meeting, which include the Basque Strategic Sectors and their future and the competitiveness of the Basque economy.
Members of the Board, who take part in their personal, non delegable capacity, are listed below in alphabetical order:
José María Aldecoa President of Mondragón Group
Claudio Aranzadi Ex-minister of Industry and Energy
José Antonio Ardanza President of Euskaltel
Luis Atienza President of Red Eléctrica Española
José María Baztarrika President of CAF
Santiago Bengoa Ex-secretary general of CCOO de Euskadi
Alejandro Echevarría President of UTECA
Juan Manuel Eguiagaray Ex-minister of Industry and Energy
Mario Fernández President of BBK
María Luisa Guibert President of Algeposa Group
Josu Jon Imaz President of Petronor
José Antonio Jainaga Chief Executive Officer of Sidenor
José Luís Larrea President of Ibermática
Jon Larrínaga Minister of the Economy, Planning and Env.
Emiliano López Achurra President of Euro-Defi in Spain
Iñaki López Gandásegui President of Aernnova
Ignacio Marco Gardoqui Executive Director of Morgan Stanley
Arantza Mendizábal Professor of Applied Economics UPV-EHU
Susana Rodríguez Vidarte Ex-deacon of Commercial University of Deusto
Ignacio Sánchez Galán President of Iberdrola
Felipe Serrano Professor of Applied Economics UPV-EHU
Carlos Trevilla Ex Secretary General of UGT de Euskadi
Guillermo Ulacia President of Innobasque.
Roberto Velasco Professor of Applied Economics UPV-EHU
D.Ignacio Zubiri Professor of Public Treasury UPV-EHU
In addition to Jose Antonio Ardanza, Luis Atienza, María Luisa Guibert and Ignacio Marco Gardoqui were unable to attend for different reasons.