When a territory benefits from a strong steel industry, this reinforces the whole industrial infrastructure and helps to underpin other key sectors such as construction and automotive. Companies linked to the metal and steel industry in the Basque Country can thus share concerns, projects and perspectives on the future and, above all, a great deal of energy to address challenges with optimism. The President of Grupo ARANIA, Eric Arana, took part in the annual Business Meeting organised by the Federation of Metal Companies of Bizkaia (FVEM) to discuss the keys to competitiveness in this industry.
The metal industry in Bizkaia (Basque Country, Spain) must strengthen corporate unity in order to cope with this period of downturn and uncertainty. A solid cooperation within the companies involved in the steel and metal value chain in Bizkaia, together with the participation of producers and distributors in their respective areas of responsibility, is essential for overcoming the current difficulties.
That was the message conveyed by Tamara Yagüe, president of the Federation of Metal Companies of Bizkaia (FVEM), which kicked off the traditional annual Business Meeting, focusing on the keys to competitiveness in the industry.
This annual event brings together hundreds of professionals, companies and public authorities, and this year’s edition featured the participation of different personalities such as Antonio Garamendi, chairman of the Spanish Confederation of Business Organisations , and Unai Rementería, Deputy General of Bizkaia, who highlighted the strength of the region’s industrial business network and its potential for the economy.
However, the highlight of the event was the conference by Eric Arana, President of Grupo ARANIA, who took part in the annual Business Meeting organised by the Federation of Metal Companies of Bizkaia (FVEM) to discuss the keys to competitiveness in the industry. More specifically, the head of Arania explained the main factors that have contributed to developing and maintaining competitiveness in this company, its evolution after more than 80 years in our territory and the importance of individuals in its development.
Of course, this event gathered the main drivers of the metal industry in Bizkaia and the Basque Country, and among these professionals, the usual topics of debate and the latest concerns for the sector were raised. The cooling of steel demand (compared to 2018 trends), regional market segmentation (fostered by global tariffs and protectionism) and a climate of general uncertainty have come together to challenge the steel industry and the metal sector across Europe.
Future global and geopolitical challenges are calling for a broader approach, that is why steel and metal companies in a territory such as Bizkaia must work together to overcome the difficulties of an economic environment which is extremely difficult to anticipate. Against this backdrop, it seems increasingly important to be adaptable and flexible, in an attempt to minimise uncertainty and risks to ensure the viability of production.
This year, decarbonisation and solutions aimed at improving the sustainability of steel production have also been topics of great debate in this encounter among the main metal actors in the Basque Country. Sustainability is a core element in Arania’s growth strategy, and the only way to achieve these demanding environmental protection goals lies in the collaboration between companies.
It is therefore time for companies in the steel industry and the wider metals market to acknowledge that prioritising sustainability in their manufacturing operations will be critical to their future success and their public reputation.
In this regard, policies must be geared towards active listening and the development of the steel sector, promoting constant and constructive dialogue with companies above all. Institutional support at regional level is essential for the development of a sustainable and forward-looking steel industry. According to the main actors in the metal industry in Bizkaia, these efforts must focus on helping the industry to overcome the challenges of globalisation, thereby maintaining the individuality that has always characterised this sector in the business community and in the markets.
The idea is to tackle these major challenges raised by the ongoing global energy disruptions from a sector-wide point of view. The steel industry, and the metals sector more broadly, require an imminent and massive expansion of clean energy based technologies to build a resilient and affordable energy system. At the same time, it is essential to establish secure and sustainable supply chains for these technologies.