It is still early to determine if the crisis caused by the coronavirus has left deep wounds or minor scratches. No expert dares to predict how far he has removed the foundations of the system. Or what productive sectors have been fatally damaged. The only clear thing is that the pandemic has opened a unique moment to rethink truths considered irrefutable until now.
A stage of mandatory break that has served both to restart the organizations and look to the future with a little more air. And, in the case of Spain, the productive sectors called to dominate the generation of wealth seem to have to balance between consolidating traditional activities and a technological transformation almost imposed by the environment.
The health emergency has accelerated digitization like never before. As Nacho Somalo, Ph.D. in Applied Economics, maintains, those who do not understand that changes are now taking place rapidly will be left out of the system: « Cycles have always existed, but now they are infinitely faster. Companies have to innovate and modify their business model, the concept of their products, and even the way they produce. There is no other way.”
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Sectors such as tourism, agri-food, hospitality, the automotive industry, and those related to services will maintain their strength in the medium and long term. As Javier Recuenco, CSO of Singular Solving, points out, no matter how much digital pushes, it would be absurd to do without economic activities with a competitive advantage compared to the rest of the world. Now, it’s time to rely on innovation in evolving some leading models that generate added value.
The ideal future scenario should add new ones to these businesses, still unknown to most companies but destined to generate unprecedented wealth. According to the World Economic Forum estimates, 97 million new jobs will be related to these emerging sectors by 2025. And the consulting firm PwC concludes that the vast majority of the jobs that will drive the economy in 2030 do not even exist today.
A new scenario of productive sectors
The last financial crisis left Spain with a low prices and wages model. In the current context, this formula is not enough. The transformation requires innovation, technology, and labor relations governed by the fulfillment of objectives. Without going any further, the latest report from the Rafael del Pino Foundation, entitled Ten technologies to boost Spain, points to telemedicine, photonics, hydrogen gene, neuroscience, data processing, augmented reality, supercomputing, precision agriculture, and nanomedicine as potential drivers of Spanish productivity.
Somalo prefers to focus the analysis on economies of scale. The greater the manufacturing or production, the cheaper the process will be. Spain does not operate under this logic due to the prevalence of the services sector. However, specialization in competitive activities can correct this dynamic. In the Spanish case, it could opt for the automotive industry or the manufacture of software, little promoted — but referring to a European scale —. Precisely, this change in productivity has to happen under the umbrella of the European Union.
There is no future without education
One of the new economy cornerstones that emerged from the coronavirus crisis is education. All experts place it at the top of the priorities, followed by science and technology. And it is something that affects all the productive sectors of our country.
The shortage of trained workers is already hitting the economy directly. The latest survey by the National Institute of Statistics ( INE ) on the labor market concludes around 120,000 vacancies due to a mismatch between supply and demand. In the coming years, a more pressing reality is that some of the most unbalanced sectors are energy and all those related to digitization.
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