Much has been said in the last weeks about the positioning of the business sector with regard to the political and economic circumstances that we are experiencing.
FemCAT Secretary, 03/11/2009
In 2005 a group of Catalan business leaders created FemCAT with the intention of putting our skills and knowledge in the service of Catalonia. Our manifesto describes the vision that joins us and the commitment that we have formulated to achieve a better country for our children.
Avui newspaper, 21/05/2008
Nobody has defined a clear strategy beyond the next elections. Now we must gain in confidence, have ambition, and a higher level of self-esteem.
Catalan Parliament, 14/06/2007
This afternoon, in the Parliament meeting room, its President, Ernest Benach, and Joaquim Boixareu, the Chairman of FemCAT, the business and top executives private foundation, signed an agreement to implement the program "Businesses and Parliament"
FemCAT Secretary, 03/11/2009
FemCAT is a private foundation whose members are Catalan business leaders. It carries out and gives support to initiatives that are useful to the progress of the Catalan society. The projects undertaken follow the lines of work stipulated in the foundational manifesto: Improve our capacity for enterprise and innovation; Encourage improved competitiveness of our country; Ensure the social cohesion of Catalonia and Launch Catalonia in the world.
FemCAT is independent of any political party and its members join it as individual persons, not in representation of their companies.
Some of the activities that are performed in a recurrent manner are the program Members of Parliament and Companies, the Forums and the Benchmarking trips.
Members of Parliament and Companies is articulated through an agreement with the Parliament of Catalonia. FemCAT chooses a sector of entrepreneurial activity and organizes three days of company visits for the Member of the Parliament of Catalonia. The visits are designed to convey a comprehensive vision of the situation and challenges of the sector. The program has been very useful to help our political leaders understand the business reality and also to create links between the employers and the members of Parliament, in a relationship based in the mutual understanding of the each one's responsibilities.
The Forums are meeting points for the members of FemCAT and their guests; internationally renowned experts are invited to share their views on the subjects chosen, including their opinion on initiatives that may be undertaken in respect to their field of expertise. The first forum took place in 2007. Entitled "Stepping out into the world: Strategies for the internationalization of Catalan companies", it included interventions of General Colin Powell, Steve Forbes, Erkki Liikanen, Andreu Mas-Colell and Jordi Pujol, among others. The second forum took place in 2008, with the title "The world at our doorstep: Business, Labour and Immigration". The third, "The world of tomorrow: Industry and Innovation" dealt on the subjects of innovation as a means of stepping out of the crisis with a stronger economy, and on industry, basis of the Catalan economy, as an agent of innovation and reform. The speakers were Mr. Esko Aho, vice-president of Nokia and prime minister of Finland between 1991 and 1995, and Pedro Luis Uriarte, president of Innobasque.
The benchmarking trips are thematic. The destinations are chosen to show specific aspects in which the country visited is a world-wide leader. The first was carried out in 2006: a group of members of FemCAT accompanied of journalists, visited Finland. The main reason for the journey was to observe how Finland, a country with a population and GDP similar to those of Catalonia, surmounted a deep economic crisis at the beginning of the nineties. In year 2008 a trip to Hong Kong was carried out; the goal was to see its airport: built entirely on filled land, it has become a pole of economic development for the region. A similar, but much simpler construction, would allow for runways on the sea in the airport of Barcelona, which would then become the only one in southern Europe with the ability to do cargo operations 24/7. The third benchmarking trip takes place the autumn of 2009 in Massachusetts. The central subject for the journey is to observe how universities and research can become the economic engine of a region, to observe the key factors and to extract useful education for Catalonia.