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2nd European Funds Industrial Forum

ASIME held the 2nd Industrial Forum on European Recovery Funds on 20 May, an event that has established itself as a meeting point to mobilise Galician industry with a view to attracting European funds linked to the Next Generation EU. The event was attended by the main representatives of public administration, entities and leading companies in the sector.

The event, organised by Asime with the sponsorship of Banco Santander, was held in person at the Mar de Vigo Auditorium.

Meeting point for the industry

With this forum, the Galician metal cluster aims to bring together in the same event the different players in the industrial sector to join forces and mobilise all their potential and where they can keep up to date with developments in the sector.

Justo Sierra, President of Asime, during the opening of the Forum added:


“Today we have brought together in the 2nd Industrial Forum of European Recovery Funds an exceptional line-up of speakers and participants who have demonstrated that industry must undoubtedly be the pillar on which the recovery is sustained. Not only because it generates quality employment and stability, but also because, as we have seen in recent months, the external dependence of key industries and supplies has shaken all our economic systems, with prices of raw materials and energy that are in many cases stifling our industry. Today, 90% of the materials consumed by European industry come from China. It is time to review the structural policies of the European Union and to relocate key industries, to invest in sectors that generate added value”, said Justo Sierra, President of Asime, during the opening of the Forum.

He also stressed that while a year ago it was time to resist the impact of covid-19, now is the time to react: we must make a decisive commitment to a new economic model based on public-private collaboration, to adapt our productive fabric to the 21st century, transforming it towards digitalisation and a low-carbon economy with the help of the Next Generation EU funds, which it would be a historic mistake to miss out on”.

On the other hand, Enrique Mallón, Secretary General of Asime, stated: “This is a unique event because of its specific focus on industry. It is the forum of debate and confluence where we keep the industry informed of all the new developments that arise in relation to European funds, promoting major projects that can attract these investments for industry, a key sector in the economic future of Galicia and Spain in the European Union as a whole”.

Official opening

At the opening, representatives of the various local, regional and state administrations presented the keys to European funds as a path to recovery.

Rebeca Acebrón, Vice-president of Asime and CEO of Acebron Group highlighted the importance of tractor and confluence projects as key factors for recovery:

“We must commit to tractor and confluence projects, in which as many actors as possible are involved, and which pull the entire value chain, because the challenges we face increasingly require a joint effort. With this objective in mind, we have been working intensively at Asime over the last three years, promoting specific initiatives with more than 100 companies, which in many cases are already participating in these first calls for proposals and strategic projects, and reinforcing our already intense dialogue with all the administrations; at the same time as we organise meeting points such as this forum”.

Other representatives pointed out:

  • Rocío Pazos Toba, Territorial Director Galicia of Banco Santander, highlighted the multiplier role of banks in the positive effects of these funds.
  • Fernando Guldrís, General Director of Igape, determined the importance of these funds for the ecological, digital and sustainability transformation.
  • David Regades, State Delegate in Consorcio Zona Franca de Vigo, highlighted the presence of green hydrogen as one of the key points of the funds.
  • Carmela Silva, President of the Diputation of Pontevedra pointed out the importance of having strong business associations such as Asime to face the great challenges of the future.

Institutional closing

The institutional closure was attended by representatives of the various institutions to explain the various lines of funding that will emerge and their vision of the roadmap for industry within the framework of the European recovery funds.

  • Carmen Larriba, Deputy Delegate of the Government in Pontevedra, stressed that Galicia has received between 2021 and 2022 the sum of 1,844 million from European funds, and that it participates in 6 of the 9 pertes launched.
  • Francisco Conde, Vice-President of the Xunta de Galicia, said that the European funds are “an unprecedented economic vaccine to promote industrial transformation based on innovation, sustainability and digitisation, but stressed the need to manage them in a useful way.
  • Abel Caballero, Mayor of Vigo, indicated that work is already underway to provide the necessary fit so that Stellantis, the naval companies and the Galician sector can take an active part in the pertes.

The closing ceremony was marked by Nadia Calviño, First Vice-President of the Government, who pointed out the importance of this forum to raise awareness of “the unique opportunity that European funds represent to modernise and transform our economy through a green and digital reindustrialisation of the country, an increase in productivity and quality employment and a more balanced growth in the territory and more sustainable from an environmental and social point of view”.

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