Although it is not possible to change the diagnosis regarding the problems caused by the lack of an Industry per se in Malaga, which is still weak and fragmented, a positive reading can be made on the province’s economic structure and competitive capacity, due to the concentration of the efforts undertaken in this direction in the last five years.
Now, subsectors such as the agri-food industry, information and communication technologies (ICT) or the energy industry are progressively gaining more weight. The efforts made by the railway, aeronautical and maritime industries, -emerging sectors for our province, the three of them-, and their business specialisation, which augur favourable results in terms of growth and competitive positioning, can be added to traditional industry. In all respects, each one or the areas that make up the industrial fabric is struggling to maintain its level and increase its size and market share.
An in-depth analysis of the industry reveals elements that require a change of viewpoint and a focus to increase the industrial business environment, its performance and competitiveness. However, two issues that bring a positive light to the previous reflections should be highlighted.
The first one has to do with the workforce’s skills. In this matter, Spain is above the European average, and is often characterised for having high-skilled or even over-qualified workers. Until a few years ago, the production’s offshoring linked to salary costs had been imposed, but the general drop in costs favours the return of companies to resume production in Spain.
Although both the conditions and a framework that favours investment need improvement, our country has been able to appeal emerging economies such as Brazil, Mexico, India and China, which were attracted by Spain’s infrastructure, the technology level and the structural reforms. There is no doubt that the initiatives that arise from public-private initiatives are helping the achievement of goals.
According to the EPA (Active Population Survey), the number of workers employed in Malaga’s Industry has passed since 2015 from 22,700 to 33,000. Industrial employment has grown by 45% in two years with 10,300 more workers and giving jobs to 5.5% of the total workers employed in the province. However, Malaga is currently the fifth province with less population employed in factories.
The recovery of the Industry in Malaga necessary involves the auxiliary industry, not just in construction but in other industries as well: metalwork, mechanical and electronic components, lifts, etc., which are growing industries since companies are investing in capital goods, both new and old.
The Industry has always shown the benefits it produces for the generation of wealth, employment and welfare in society, and the nations with the highest industrial weight in their GDP have confronted the recession with more strength, since the Industry has resisted better than other sectors. In this sense, the quality of employments in Industry is often higher than in other sectors.
The Government of the Junta de Andalucía, the unions UGT and CC.OO. and the Confederation of Andalusia Businesses signed on January 30, 2017 the Andalusian Industry Pact, which represents the first step towards the industrialisation of Andalusia which, not only seeks to increase the specific weight of the sector in the autonomous GDP, but also to involve the public in that great objective. This strategy foresees the mobilization of 8,000 million euros in the community through new financial instruments and incentives for industrial development and R+D+I.
The main goal of this pact is to promote the industrialisation of Andalusia, so that this sector’s GDP increases from the current 12% to 18% by the year 2020.