Nou Barris lays the foundations for the economic recovery in the city and its neighbourhoodsRepresentatives from the main economic bodies in Barcelona and Catalonia discussed the post-pandemic economy and key factors for driving the recovery.
The Casa de l’Aigua de la Trinitat Nova hosted the first Fòrum Nou Barris, devoted the economic recovery. This initiative by the district office was conceived to discuss economic policy for the present and the immediate future, the ultimate goal being to speed up the economic recovery in the city and in the country.
This first session involved representatives from the Institut Cerdà, Foment del Treball, the Cercle d’Economia, the Cambra de Comerç de Barcelona and the Col·legi d’Economistes de Catalunya.
The meeting was opened by the First Deputy Mayor of Barcelona, Jaume Collboni, along with Carles Cabrera, director general of the Institut Cerdà. Collboni stressed that the meeting “is a new form of giving more importance to the territory and to neighbourhoods and to areas for economic promotion and the local reactivation”. The Deputy Mayor pointed out: “Nou Barris is the district which has recovered its pre-pandemic commercial activity the quickest, because it has a resilient economic fabric with lots of potential. With investments such as the Parc Tecnològic de Nou Barris, the Nou Cibernàrium and the Escola 42, we’ll give some six hundred people a year the skills to generate wealth and quality jobs which are innovative and sustainable in time”, adding “Nou Barris is a district of opportunities”.
Keys to an economy of recovery
The crisis resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic was the focus of various discussions on the future of the economy. The first consisted of assessing whether the current situation needs addressing with a model that moves towards an economic decrease of whether the same ideals and goals from before the 2020 crisis need to be maintained.
To discuss the post-pandemic economy, the first round table featured the experts Manel Pérez, head of the economy section of La Vanguardia; Mar Alarcón, CEO with Social Car and vice-chair of Foment del Treball; Jordi Alberich, economist and vice-chair of the ideas factory with Foment del Treball; Joan Guàrdia, rector of the University of Barcelona, and Eva Menor, head of the Area for Economic Development, Tourism and Commerce with Barcelona Provincial Council.
New social and economic challenges
Discussion also revolved around the current challenges and how the economy needs to respond on both a macro and micro scale, to drive an economy linked to the emotional recovery, confidence and social opportunities, and to tackle environment, energy-related, social and educational issues.
In this respect, the speakers reflected on how the climate crisis will affect decision-making, what the real impact of Europe’s Next Generation funds will be, how to establish public-private collaboration, how the roll-out of 5G technology will affect cities and what impact the pensions reform will have, current issues which need to be addressed from a more local and familiar vision.
The second round table of the meeting focused on key factors for driving the economic recovery. The participants in this session were Ernest Quingles, vice-chair of Foment del Treball and CEO of Epson Europe; Àngel Hermosilla, director of the l’Àrea d’Economia i Empresa de PIMEC; Javier Faus, chair of the Cercle d’Economia; Joan Ramon Rovira, director of the Gabinet d’Estudis de la Cambra de Comerç de Barcelona, and Carlos Puig de Travy, deacon elect with the Col·legi d’Economistes de Catalunya.
Finally, the Councillor for Nou Barris, Xavier Marcé, rounded off the meeting noting: “These questions occupy and concern our society and are a central part of the economic debate for businesspeople, business associations and trade unions at numerous meetings. We haven’t proposed an alternative debate here today, but the same debate from a different perspective: to ponder what economic processes can do to ensure unbiased and generalised progress for the city as a whole”.
See the full session here.