The Basque Government showcases the New Basque Competitiveness Model in the United States
The Basque Government's Deputy Minister for Industry, García de Motiloa outlined the importance of the Government's commitment to industry at Harvard Business School
The Basque Government's Deputy Minister for Industry, Juan Ignacio Gobierno de Motiloa, outlined this week the New Basque Competitiveness Model at a course at the leading US business school, the Harvard Business School, as part of the Competitiveness Course run by Professor Michael Porter, who specialises in cluster policy.
This business school is one of the post-graduate schools at Harvard University and one of the leading business schools worldwide.
The course run by Porter analyses the most distinctive cases from the regional competitiveness point of view, which include the "Basque case". The students on the course are selected from among ones from all round the world based on their high levels of knowledge and skills in the areas of the economy and business. García de Motiloa likewise described the strategic lines of the New Competitiveness Model to a group of professors from the School who expressed particular interest in "the strategy of the Basque Government in favour of industry", given, among other reasons, the ongoing debate in the USA about the commitment to industry both at federal and state level.
In a reference to the Basque economy at the end of the 20th and the early 21st century, Juan Ignacio García de Motiloa pointed out that the Basque institutions and private stakeholders have adopted a specific competitiveness model based on the firm commitment to the competitiveness of the productive industry, the clustering of activities as a mechanism to generate projects and differentiated value proposals, private-public cooperation and inter-institutional collaboration to develop driving force projects and strategies, and the use of the self-government capacity as a lever for new instruments to serve competitiveness.
He then went on analyse the current macro-economic situation in the Basque Country and referred to the need for a qualitative leap in the design and implementation of a New Basque Competitiveness Model, which in essence is where the Basque Government's Ministry for Economic Development and Competitiveness is working.
A New Competitiveness Model that returns to its commitment to industrialisation, even though, some approaches will need to be reviewed so that they are updated and adapted to the requirements of the current needs and which are focused on, among others, improving the transfer of R&D to industry, the optimisation of resources for R&D&I and on the Smart Specialisation strategy.
With regards to the most immediate focus by the Basque Government, "one of our main pressing needs has been, in conjunction with the financial institutions, to set up a Financing Fund that enables companies to have working capital to carry on operating. In addition to which, in an austerity budgetary context, we have consolidated the allocations earmarked for industry by increasing them by 15% and injecting a further 45 "new" million for new measures to support industry".
"When designing the budget in our country, we have established some priorities where special mention has to be made of maintaining the quality of the basic services in health and education, and we also have ensured it is compatible with being committed to kick-starting the economy that includes prioritising industry. First-rate and far-reaching industrial projects have to be consolidated given their capacity to drive the supplier economy and other sectors such as services. And even though it initially requires prioritising and being committed to a very specific productive part (it contributes more than 25% to the GDP in the Basque Country), in the long run we believe that it will underpin the kick-starting of the rest of the economy," explained Motiloa.
Furthermore, and given the forum where he was speaking (students and lecturers from practically every content, including two Basque students), García de Motiloa stressed that "apart from industry, quality, innovation, internationalisation, in short, Basque is a country open to the world with huge potential".
Boston, 31 March 2013