Spanish companies are betting on digitalization and investment in new technologies as the fastest and most effective way out of the severe economic crisis caused by the pandemic.
According to the first Barometer for the Economic Reactivation of Companies and Workers, a clear example is the digital acceleration of Spain, which has positioned the country above the European average in online performance. Moreover, 59.9% of the companies surveyed said that, despite the seriousness of the situation, this year they will invest in digital transformation. The Barometer was carried out by the Valencian Institute of Economic Research (Ivie) and #EActíVate, the platform that inherited the campaign ‘Esto no tiene que parar’, promoted by Mercadona.
The study, in which 840 companies, businessmen, entrepreneurs, self-employed and workers adhered to the initiative have participated, highlights that in 2020 a total of 14 of the 88 sectors of the Spanish economy created jobs and that 38.5% of the surveyed firms expect to exceed this year the turnover of the past. 29.5% also state that they will increase the workforce of their companies in 2021 compared to 2020 and 33.8% consider that during the current year, at least, they will have recovered the pre-crisis level of investment.
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Rebuilding after the pandemic
For the time being, the sectors that are growing and continuing to generate jobs are those related to new technologies, e-commerce, agriculture, food processing, retail, and the medical and health sector. All this after the strong impact caused by the pandemic, as reflected in the loss of 7.5% of employed people in the last year.
As Paula Llop, head of the #EActíVate initiative, explained, “we wanted to carry out this Barometer to offer a vision of the economic situation of our country from the perspective of the effort and the capacity for reinvention and adaptation that businessmen, entrepreneurs, self-employed and workers have made in 2020 and continue to make.”
Although for Llop “much remains to be done for the recovery, we have been very impressed by the data analyzed by the Ivie, the great advances in digitization, innovation and sustainability, despite the complicated times we are living in.”
Joaquín Maudos, Ivie’s Deputy Director, explained with respect to the 2020 results that “it is important to highlight that even in an adverse environment there are companies that have shown resilience, adapting to the new conditions and that have taken advantage of the circumstances to promote a digital transformation.”
However, and despite the momentum of digitization, those responsible for the study also warned that only 20% of companies train their employees in information and communication technologies. “The year 2020 has been key in the digital transformation of the business fabric. And the fact is that digitization is not an option, today it is a necessity,” they say.
The study highlights the high percentage of companies with fast fixed broadband connection (82%) and ultrafast (62%), well above the European average (76% and 46%, respectively). Spain is also the eighth economy in the EU with the highest percentage of companies with online sales of their products and services, 27%, which is 6 points above the EU average.
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First published in elEconomista.es, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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