The 10th German-Spanish Forum on ‘Building together a digital and sustainable future in Europe’, co-organised by the Liz Mohn Center of the Bertelsmann Stiftung and Telefónica, with the support of Fundación ICO, was held today in Berlin.
The Forum, inaugurated by His Majesty King Felipe and the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is part of the official visit of the Spanish monarchs to Germany, which highlights the excellent bilateral relationship between the two countries.
The meeting was attended by high-level representatives from the private and social sectors of both countries. The first round table, ‘How to be more competitive through digitalisation and sustainability’, was attended by José María Álvarez-Pallete, Executive Chairman of Telefónica; Ignacio S. Galán, Chairman and CEO of Iberdrola; Belén Garijo, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Merck; Nico Hofmann, CEO of UFA GmbH; and Klaus Rosenfeld, President and CEO of Schaeffler AG. Through a joint dialogue, they pointed out that both transitions are fundamental factors in strategic planning, with a direct impact on the daily business of industry, banking, tourism and trade, concluding that digitalisation and sustainability pose great challenges, but also great opportunities for Europe’s economic and social recovery.
The next panel was dedicated to ‘Industries in transformation and challenges of financing and investment’, with the participation of Ernesto Antolin, president of Grupo Antolin; António Simões, CEO of Santander Spain and regional head of Europe; Uwe Fröhlich, co-CEO of DZ Bank AG; and Michael Rüdiger, president of BlackRock Germany. This roundtable focused on the recent update of the industrial policy strategy approved by the European Union and how the different Spanish and German companies are adapting to these transformations.
The conference concluded with speeches by the German Minister for Economic Affairs, Robert Habeck, and the Spanish Minister for Industry, Reyes Maroto.
The aim of the 10th German-Spanish Forum is to strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries, as well as to exchange views on the challenges in the fields of sustainability and digitalisation in Europe and to develop joint solutions to shape this transformation, gaining in competitiveness.