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CEO: ‘Andalusia needs a portfolio of major investment projects to compete at an international level’

Talking at a round-table discussion as part of the first Andalucía Investor’s Day, the CEO of Ayesa, José Luis Manzanares Abásolo, explained that attracting foreign capital to Andalusia is essential for boosting innovation.

The event, which was organised by El Confidencial and took place on the 20th of September at the head offices of the Andalusian Association of Business Owners in Seville, brought together the region’s leading companies, as well as the local Minister for the Economy, Rogelio Velasco, and the local Minister for Finance, Juan Bravo.

‘Government investment was the great driver of growth in the past, but today government budgets leave little room for investment. So, what can we do to attract investors? In the absence of government investment, we should be aiming for private foreign investment’, he explained.

During his presentation, the CEO of Ayesa talked about the need to have a portfolio of structured projects with a stable legal and contractual framework which are favourable from a tax point of view, in order to improve investment ratios. Currently, Andalusia gets 1% of all investment in Spain, despite the region representing 12% of the country’s wealth and 18% of its population.

‘We need to promote ourselves abroad. There is a vast amount of international investment to be had, but we must be able to offer good projects and promote them using all the techniques of international marketing”, he argued.

He went on to add that ‘there’s a lot of competition around the world and investors look for the greatest return with the least risk. That’s why we must boost our capacity to sell our projects abroad, focusing on sectors which are particularly prominent in Andalusia, such as tourism, infrastructure, agri-food and energy’.

Talent and innovation

In terms of talent, the first part of the title of the round-table discussion, the CEO of Ayesa noted that the technology sector is going through a period of ‘rapid growth’, meaning very high staff turnover. ‘Stimulating talent is something that drives all the companies present. At Ayesa, we have had our Talent Programme for some years now, which offers those with an outstanding academic background an attractive career path within the company’.

Within this area, he also highlighted the strengths of a company which was founded more than 50 years ago and boasts an exceptional and exemplary team who work hard to promote its corporate culture, dynamism and innovation.

In terms of innovation, José Luis, explained how Ayesa follows a client-orientated business model designed to identify and implement ongoing improvements. He noted that a result of this strategy was the big data project for reading smart electricity meters implemented for a major utility company. ‘Thanks to the relationship we have with our clients, extremely innovative projects such as this one have been possible’, which have solved real problems, in this case reading electricity meters at different times throughout the day.

To conclude, he talked about the challenge universities face in terms of helping students get their first step on the career ladder.