The Keys To The Economic Future Of The Basque Country

Zucchetti Spain, A Specialist In Boosting Competitiveness, Takes Center Stage At The "Euskadi Hacia El Futuro" Conference

Zucchetti Spain participated in the "Euskadi hacia el futuro" conference, a forum for analysis and debate organized by Europa Press with the objective of establishing the foundations for the economic future of the Basque Country. The event was supported by Iberdrola, Kutxabank, Petronor, and Zucchetti itself.

The conference was attended by the Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu and the Minister of Economic Development Arantxa Tapia, as well as top-level institutions, entrepreneurs, and business executives from the Basque Country, including the President of Confebask and the Deputy CEO of Zucchetti Spain.

Bilbao, March 13, 2023 
The "Euskadi hacia el futuro" conference was held today at the Palacio Euskalduna in Bilbao, a space for dialogue and reflection organized by Europa Press, which brought together the most important sectors of the Basque economy, from industry and technology to finance, energy, and education. The aim of this forum was to project the image of the Basque Country abroad and help boost business and social opportunities, with innovation and talent development as pillars for economic reactivation.

At the opening of the conference, Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu stated that the success and competitiveness of the Basque business fabric will come through continuous collaboration between institutions and companies, and highlighted science, technology, and knowledge as fundamental pillars for positioning the Basque Country as an international innovation hub. In this context, Zucchetti Spain CEO Justino Martínez emphasized the essential role of technology as an engine for change in organizations and as the basis for competitiveness and value creation.

Zucchetti Spain highlights the role of ongoing innovation as a driver of economic transformation
The first roundtable, focused on "Growth and competitiveness of the production structure," featured speeches from Zucchetti Spain CEO Justino Martínez, Fernando Irigoyen Zuazola, CEO of Kutxabank, and Ana Villate, Director of the Aeronautics and Space Cluster of the Basque Country HEGAN. They analyzed the challenges facing companies for fostering growth and adding value in the current macroeconomic context. During this roundtable, which showed the solidity and projection of Basque technological companies, Justino Martínez brought his experience and trajectory as the founder of Solmicro, a company born in the Basque Country that became part of a major European IT company, the Zucchetti Group, leading its expansion in the Spanish market. A constantly growing project that began with the merger of four Basque companies, and to which three other companies from the national territory were later added.

Justino Martínez highlighted the main pillars of Solmicro's success, founded in 1994, including the solidity of its human team "highly committed and loyal to the project," a technologically advanced product, and a corporate philosophy based on innovation that allowed it to evolve and anticipate market changes. "We have a stable base of customers in multiple sectors and sizes. This cross-sectoral nature of our business gives us a global view of the market reality and the needs of companies."

Today, Zucchetti Spain maintains its own headquarters and R&D centers in the Basque Country and leads the market with a strong commitment to innovation, to which it devotes 15% of its annual turnover. "Innovation is necessary for the proper functioning of any company, and increasingly innovation is linked to technology. In the tumultuous scenario in which we live, we must not be afraid to continue investing. This is what we have done at Zucchetti Spain over the past thirty years. In times of crisis, we have continued to invest in R&D and have committed to maintaining all jobs, aware that our employees are the most important asset we have in companies," stated the company's CEO.

Regarding public-private cooperation to boost growth, Justino Martínez also mentioned the important role played by public administrations as catalysts for digital transformation: "Basque institutions have been supporting the Basque business fabric for many years with technological centers, clusters, and a whole set of initiatives that help us boost strategic challenges. We must be perseverant, keep working, and seize all opportunities, including talent opportunities provided by immigration."

Retention and attraction of talent, key to the Basque Country's economic future
Another round table at the conference dealt with "Creation, retention, and training of talent," with the participation of Zucchetti Spain's Deputy CEO Isabel Busto, as President of Confebask and institutional representative of the Basque employers' association, the Vice Minister for Vocational Training of the Basque Government, Jorge Arévalo, and the Rector of the University of the Basque Country, Eva Ferreira. They addressed the most pressing issues of the current job market, the shortcomings and main challenges of the Basque production fabric in labor matters, and the need to attract talent to companies, and above all, to retain it. As Isabel Busto highlighted: "This is a challenge that Confebask has been warning about for some time and is already urgent. We must be very persevering and make a cultural transaction to adapt to the new generations of workers, attract talent, and make our companies very attractive to retain it. We also have a very important challenge in the guidance for choosing careers and professions. In companies, we need the female perspective, complementarity, and eliminating biases and breaking stereotypes is very important for this."

The conference was closed by the Basque Government's Minister of Economic Development, Arantxa Tapia, who focused on digitalization and talent management: "We must seize digitalization to be much more competitive and foster the talent and skills of all workers - young and senior.
Above all, we must maintain our way of working, public-private collaboration, and the values of Basque society, which we must put at the center and maintain in the future to continue being an industrial and technological reference."

In the picture: Justino Martínez and Isabel Busto, CEO and Deputy CEO of Zucchetti Spain, with representatives from Petronor, Kutxabank, Iberdrola, and Europa Press, the event organizer.