Industry to account for 25% of Catalan GDP in 2020, says Puigdemont
Catalan president and sector representatives agree upon a €1.8 billion stimulus plan
The Catalan government will spend more than €1.8 billion by 2020 to help boost the country’s industrial sector. The move is expected to increase the weight of industry in Catalan GDP from 20% to 25%.
After eight months of talks, the Catalan executive finally reached a deal with the major players in Catalonia’s industrial sector, to set a stable industrial policy for the next few years. On Monday July 24, the Catalan President Carles Puigdemont signed the National Pact for Industry, and was joined by sector representatives, such as trade unions and employers’ associations.
The stimulus plan includes some 116 specific actions. According to the Catalan government, the €1.8 billion plan will trigger another €3.1 billion in investment from other public bodies and private companies.
“Urgent reindustrialization and modernization of our economy is indispensable if we are to create new jobs"
Antonio Tajani · European Parliament President
Puigdemont claimed that the 25% goal is “doable,” and pointed out that the country has already met the goals set by the European Union for 2020. He said that Catalonia aims to be above the European average.
In a 2014, the European Commission (EC) adopted the “For a European Industrial Renaissance” communication, which urged all member states to recognize the central importance of industry for creating jobs and growth. “Urgent reindustrialization and modernization of our economy is indispensable if we are to create new jobs,” said Antonio Tajani, current European Parliament President and former EC Vice President for industry and entrepreneurship.
The stimulus plan will reduce unemployment to pre-crisis levels, says the Catalan government. The current unemployment rate is 15%, up from from 6.5% in 2007, just before the economic crisis struck.
The signatories of the National Pact for Industry include the two main trade unions in Spain, CCOO and UGT. The pact was also signed by representatives of the employers and entrepreneurs federations: Foment Nacional del Treball, Pimec and Fepime.