Reindustrialize Castilla y León to recover employment and contain depopulation. He is the headline that summarizes the main objective of the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Employment, Mariano Veganzones, at the head of this department for the new mandate, as he explained last week during his appearance in Parliament. There are even definite figures in this regard: to increase industrial manufacturing production by 20% over the next five years in the Community and to ensure that spending on R&D reaches 1.8% of the GDP of Castilla y León in the year 2025. In that Along the same lines, it raises the convenience of taking advantage of one’s own resources; support small businesses, young people and the self-employed; stimulate entrepreneurship and favor social dialogue “through consultation and participation mechanisms to formulate their opinions, proposals or suggestions, through specific participatory procedures, acting as a factor of social cohesion and economic progress”.

For the counselor, it is essential to “increase the industrial weight of the region”, increase innovation to ensure the competitiveness of regional industry, attract and retain talent to increase the personnel employed in industry, increase the weight of the less industrialized provinces to achieve a diversified economy and reinforce the weight of medium-sized companies. In this sense, he opted for an industrial strategy “committed to policies that improve the technological development of productive activities.” Thus, both the 4th Industrial Competitiveness Framework Agreement and the 2nd Industrial Promotion Master Plan “will be continuously adapted to meet the new challenges of the future”.

Among the measures announced by Veganzones are incentives for companies that relocated their production and can return to Castilla y León with the best conditions; promote industries linked to rural areas as generators of opportunities and quality employment in the most depopulated areas, and complete the actions foreseen in the Territorial Development Programs that the Board currently has in force, such as the Mining Municipalities, Villadangos del Páramo, Béjar, Benavente, Ávila and Medina del Campo. In addition, other new ones are studied, such as Tierra de Campos, Sierra de la Demanda, Segovia and the one in the area of ​​La Raya with Portugal.

Regarding the Priority Industrial Projects underway -Nissan in Ávila, Network Steel in León, Kronospan in Burgos, Latem Aluminum in Zamora and León and Renault- three other relevant ones will be added: Pack Benefit, S.L. in Fuensaldaña, Merck Sharp

His department will also promote the hiring of young people under 30 years of age for the development of new R&D initiatives, the professional qualification of workers in these strategic sectors, and the development of all types of social economy companies. With regard to commerce, “a key sector in the recovery and in the revitalization and modernization of the economic, social and cultural attractions of Castilla y León”, it is committed to facilitating contact between retiring merchants and new entrepreneurs, improve the supply of everyday products in the rural world, and promote the Data Study of Commercial Establishments to maintain the registration base of retail trade. “In this way, the modernization, digitalization and improvement of trade management will be more effective, allowing the Technological Fund to promote the generalization of ICTs,” assured Veganzones. Finally, the promotion of municipal markets and small businesses will continue to compete with large surfaces and platforms.

For his part, the head of Economy and Finance, Carlos Fernández Carriedo, also advanced the priorities of his department in parliament, “focused on recovering pre-pandemic activity levels as soon as possible, and promoting a necessary transformation that places everyone the productive sectors of Castilla y León on the path of sustainable growth, generating quality employment. For this, “we will insist on policies that promote the modernization and strengthening of the economy and the productive model of the Community”. Policies aimed at reinforcing innovation at the service of business transformation, favoring greater internationalization of all productive sectors, enabling sufficient financing instruments, adapted to the needs demanded by companies, facilitating development and investment in productive infrastructures, as well as direct taxation to favor entrepreneurship and investment.

Thus, it is planned to have a new Entrepreneurship and Innovation Strategy for Castilla y León 2022-2027, “and competitive business land where necessary, adapted to the demand of companies, in the estates owned by ICE, so that all companies can develop, with price revisions to adjust supply to demand». There will also be collaboration with municipalities that promote investments in business land, with an amount of 10 million euros to support projects. With regard to high technology and innovation, plans are being made to expand the León park, improve the Boecillo park and complete the construction of the Burgos park.

Within the support to the productive sectors, special attention will be paid to the automotive industry -with the collaboration of the own cluster-, aeronautics, agri-food, cybersecurity, health and quality of life, energy and ICT. The energy chapter includes, specifically, the promotion of renewables with 1,000 new MW in wind power and 2,000 MW of planned installation in photovoltaic generation, self-consumption, as well as the approval of the Renewable Thermal Strategy (aerothermal, biomass, biogas, geothermal and heat networks); the Energy Efficiency Strategy of Castilla y León with a 2030 horizon; the commitment to mining from the sustainable exploitation of endogenous mineral resources, and the implementation of energy rehabilitation measures in buildings and savings and efficiency in companies, including SMEs, to gain competitiveness.

Fernández Carriedo also underlined the role of “innovation and digitization at the service of transforming the business fabric”, and highlighted the fifth position of Castilla y León in the national ranking of technological effort (expenditure on R&D/GDP), a line in initiatives such as the Wolaria project, the public purchase of innovation and the strengthening of Business Innovation Groups are registered, “to guarantee that this transformation can reach the entire business fabric, especially the self-employed and small companies that may have more difficulties”. Finally, the director broke down actions related to business internationalization, export diversification, investment attraction as a key axis and company financing, with the implementation of two new financial instruments, for a total amount of 80 million euros, destined on the one hand to finance the competitiveness and growth of SMEs; and on the other, the innovation of companies from Castilla y León, which will initially allow some 500 companies to participate.