On Tuesday, June 13th, we celebrated the first edition of the Conference "Global Trends 2023: Energy, Technology, and Friendshoring in Times of Global Turbulences," organized in collaboration with Europa Press. The event brought together more than 30 speakers and 100 top representatives from the Spanish business ecosystem.
In his welcoming speech, Jaime Malet, President of the Chamber, emphasized Spain's strategic position globally and its potential to become one of the main destinations for European and American investment in key sectors. According to his vision, several factors favor our country's position worldwide: political stability, democratic and liberal values shared with major powers like the United States, geographical location, and renewable energy generation capacity.
The event began with a speech by Antonio Huertas, President of Mapfre, who shared more about his company's investment in the United States. Along the same lines, the first panel discussion of the day, composed of Isabel Rioja-Scott, Economic Counselor at the Embassy of the United States, Ángel Garcia, Corporate General Director of ACS, and Edouard Matita, Managing Director of Bank of America, analyzed the current investment opportunities for Spanish companies in the United States.
The conference also examined the reverse situation, focusing on the current investment of American companies in Spain. To address this, Miguel Álava, General Manager of AWS, Andreu Vilamitjana, General Director of Cisco, Romina Lorenzo, General Director of UPS, and Juan Rivera, Managing Director of FTI Consulting, were present. Moderated by Isabel Tocino, Advisor to Banco Santander, the panel discussion emphasized Spain's role as an investment destination due to its geographical position, human capital, and strong commitment to ecological and digital transitions.
Among the topics analyzed, the Global Trends conference also focused on the potential of our country to become an energy hub and a hub for healthcare innovation. For the former case, a panel discussion was held with Carlos Murillo, President of Pfizer, Roberto Urbez, President of BMS, Beatriz Faro, Former Regional President of Pfizer North America, and Ana Argelich, President of MSD. The speakers agreed on the importance of public-private collaboration to improve patient accessibility to healthcare innovation. On the other hand, the energy situation was analyzed by Rafael Mateo, CEO of Acciona Energía, Carmen Becerril, President of OMIE, Mario-Ruiz Tagle, CEO of Iberdrola España, and Arturo Gonzalo, CEO of Enagás. The debate focused on Spain's great capacity to lead the green revolution, thanks to three factors: its natural resources, available space, and social acceptance.
Another key panel of the day analyzed the profound impact of AI on the productive fabric. Carme Artigas, Secretary of State for Digitalization and AI, introduced the debate by emphasizing that the only path to the digital revolution is to align technological development with the protection of human rights. In this regard, leaders of major companies such as Alberto Granados, President of Microsoft, Chema Alonso, CDO of Telefónica, Enrique Polo de Lara, President of Salesforce, and Alicia Richart, General Director of Afiniti, highlighted the need to create a regulatory framework based on transparency, data regulation, and a sense of justice. Antonio Garamendi, President of CEOE, who also focused on understanding the future of employment amid current changes, emphasized the need for Spain to prevent a brain drain by ensuring the same working conditions as other European countries.
The conference also featured representatives from the government, such as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, EU and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Tourism, Héctor Gómez, and the Director General of the Office of Prospection and Foresight, Diego Rubio. Taking advantage of the participation of the former, Susan Danger, CEO of AmChamEU, and Aida Casamitjana, Executive Director of AmChamSpain, presented a joint document with recommendations for the presidency.
The event concluded with a closing speech by Lawrence H. Summers, Former U.S. Treasury Secretary and President Emeritus of Harvard, who reviewed current global challenges.
We would like to thank the speakers, attendees, and, above all, our sponsors for making this event possible: AWS, Bristol Myers Squibb, Delta, FTI Consulting, Gilead, Google, Nippon Gases, Pfizer, Santander, and UPS.