EL PAÍS and the communications consultancy KREAB hosted last Wednesday, September 18, the second edition of the Trends Forum (Foro Tendencias), which seeks to anticipate and analyze the opportunities and challenges that will shape geopolitics and the global economy over the coming year. This event brought together the vice president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Luis de Guindos; the acting Spanish minister of Economy and Business, Nadia Calviño; as well as the presidents and CEOs of some of the Spain’s biggest international companies, and leading academics and journalists.
De Guindos championed the need for “a moderately sized fiscal instrument, able to act counter-cyclically, and controlled not by countries” but by a European authority. He also acknowledged that there are threats facing the weak economy of the euro zone.
Spain’s acting Economy minister, Nadia Calviño, said she’d liked to have reduced the ratio of public debt to GDP more over recent months. She also addressed the issues of unemployment and high debt.
A YEAR OF UNCERTAINTY
The heads of Enagás, Bankia, Ferrovial and the CEO of Repsol also shared their views on global economic trends in 2020 at the event, sponsored by Ferrovial and Telefónica. The debate was also attended by Spain’s acting Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto.
The four company chiefs agreed that international uncertainties have worsened over the past year. In addition, they agreed that one of the biggest trends seen over the course of 2019 has been the behavior of central banks. “A year ago we were convinced that the Federal Reserve was going to hike rates – and now rates are going down. This is a very significant issue,” said Goirigolzarri, president of Bankia. Brexit and the trade war were also major risks, according to Rafael del Pino, president of Ferrovial.
In another of the forum's debates, the head of Telefónica Spain, Emilio Gayo, revealed that his company is set to develop “the largest training program to be undertaken by a Spanish company. We are going to more than double the resources set aside for training to improve the skills and knowledge of the entire workforce. Because all of us need to keep adapting to a fast-changing world.”
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