"Madrid is ready to compete for major events worldwide"
Miguel Garrido is the president of CEIM (the employer of the Madrid businessmen) and vice president of CEOE. In this interview with OKDIARIO about the impact of the Climate Summit 2019 on the economy of the region, he believes that the event can become a great opportunity to show Madrid to the rest of the world. Satisfied with the policies promoted by the Community and by the City Council, Garrido warns, instead, of the danger to the competitiveness of carrying out some of the proposals proposed by the central government in operation, which would imply tax increases for Madrid residents.
What can the Madrid summit bring to the Madrid economy?
It is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the capacity of the Madrid economy – with administrations, organizations and companies, working in a coordinated manner – to face a challenge that, at the outset, was complicated. A summit like this one of the United Nations is usually scheduled many months and even years in advance, and has an organizational, logistic, security level complexity … Madrid has shown that it has the necessary infrastructure to organize such events and that, In addition, it has the ability to react, not improvisation, to make things very fast and at the same time very satisfactory. The summit is an ideal showcase to have demonstrated, although many distrusted it, of the organizational capacity of Madrid and the excellent infrastructure of Madrid. For example, the excellent hotel park has been able to assimilate the arrival of 25,000 people without any conflict.
Madrid has shown that it has the necessary infrastructures to organize this type of events and that, in addition, it has the capacity to react "
What will be the impact on the activity of the region?
The summit will allow Madrid these days to be a center of important activity. The number of visitors has increased considerably, which implies at the level of economic return for sectors such as hotels, hotels, restaurants, transport or commerce, which will see how their billing increases thanks to this meeting. But beyond that, the important thing is the message that Madrid is prepared to compete for major events worldwide. We hope that when the extension of IFEMA, which has been recently approved, is completed, we will have a capacity to organize world-class events. In addition, this summit is very important because one of the big problems we have as a society is going to be addressed. Madrid and Madrid companies must be at the forefront with policies that advance in sustainability and preserve the future of the planet we have for living and breathing.
Some estimates speak that the summit will contribute 200 million to Madrid. Do you share this calculation?
It's possible. In other events we have made an estimate: in the Champions League finals, in the final of the Copa Libertadores and in many important international events … But this event is unprecedented and we have not dared to make an evaluation. But there is no doubt that the contribution will be very important and that there will be a very relevant expense in Madrid, which will result in the benefit of the companies. What is good for companies is good for their shareholders, who then reinvest in new projects. And it is good for employees because companies, when they have better results, they aspire to have more and better paid jobs. It is also good for society as a whole, which, through taxes, has a benefit for all citizens.
What is good for companies is good for their shareholders, who then reinvest in new projects. And it is good for employees because companies, when they have better results, they aspire to have more and better paid jobs "
What events do you think could attract Madrid of international stature? The World Mobile Congress, for example?
Do not look at a specific event. What we can do is be able to organize great meetings. And what I am thinking about is events like medical congresses for which Madrid had no capacity before. It did not have congress facilities of 25,000, 30,000 or 40,000 attendees … When the new IFEMA facilities are available, we can host them in Madrid. And this has a brutal effect, not only because of the direct economic impact, but because of the advertising impact. In Madrid people eat well, have a good time, visit nice places … The effect of those 'prescribers' who return to their countries and tell how well they have had a multiplier effect on quality tourism, which is what interests them to Madrid.
Do you feel entrepreneurs surrounded by public administrations?
What we hope is that administrations do their job: through the necessary infrastructure, ensuring legal certainty and with adequate taxation. Madrid is an example of how good management translates into a friendlier fiscal policy with people and companies and this results in more activity, more employment, more revenue and more contribution to the sustainability of the welfare system, not just Madrid but that of the rest of Spain through the Solidarity Fund. Madrid is a great example of how good policies and good management translate into a benefit for all citizens.
Have you thought about collaborating with Catalan and other community entrepreneurs to attract the organization of major events to Spain?
It is an important issue. Many times there has been talk of competition between Madrid and other communities, but I think that in the times we are living we necessarily have to look further and think about the future. The markets today are international and what we have to do is cooperate with entrepreneurs and regions like Catalonia. Also with other bordering communities such as Castilla-La Mancha and Castilla y León and, in general, with all of Spain. Today the challenges are global, the markets are global and there is plenty of room to cooperate, to be able to compete and reach more places together. That is a message that CEOE is clear about. That the regions collaborate to make Spain more competitive. I think the example of Madrid is very good. What the central government should do is, instead of trying to prevent Madrid from making those policies, trying to make the rest of the communities do so and that together we will be more competitive.
The rest of the communities should be encouraged so that, by lowering taxes such as Madrid, we can all benefit, we are all more competitive and Spain is a more competitive region within Europe "
Why does the government prevent Madrid from being more competitive?
What we are perceiving, what we are constantly hearing, is that we want to withdraw from Madrid the capacity for fiscal autonomy to manage certain taxes. There is talk of harmonizing, but when they talk about harmonizing we all know what they are thinking, which is to raise taxes, prevent Madrid from having the bonuses in the Inheritance and Donation taxes, in Patrimony and in the regional section of the Income Tax and that way prevent Madrid from having this situation that allows Madrid to grow. I believe that, on the contrary, the rest of the communities should be encouraged so that, by doing the same thing as Madrid, we can all benefit, we are all more competitive and Spain is a more competitive region within Europe.
Are you organizing a bilateral meeting with the Promotion of Labor, the Catalan employer, to work together?
Not only with Foment, also with Castilla y León we are working on a meeting. What we want is for Madrid and Catalan companies to know each other, know possibilities for collaboration and address certain markets that may be too large for a single company. We believe that we have to show that by cooperating we go much further and not facing and separating. We have an important function: to promote the activity of some regions and others to, together, be able to face those markets. We have to give politicians the example that by collaborating and cooperating we are able to go much further and that, conversely, if we separate and face each other, we will have the shortest sights.