ALIA – Alicante Investment Agency gathers representatives from sectors such as wholesale, food, logistics, real estate, hospitality, culture and commerce, to analyze the strengths and needs of Alicante, with the aim of improving the attraction of new companies and industrial projects.
The Alicante Investment Attraction Office has held a new session of its ‘Strategic Intelligence Meeting’ event, in which businessmen and businesswomen from traditional sectors of the province have contributed their points of view regarding the opportunities and points of improvement that the capital of Alicante has to continue making progress in the attraction of investment.
Thus, the meeting brought together Dolores María Mejía Moya, director of Mercalicante (Wholesale Market sector); Javier Gregori, director of INTRACO (Logistics and Transport); Asunción and Cristina Soro Bonmatí, representing the Bonmatí Group (Real Estate); Carolina Galván and Patrick Decico, commercial and ecommerce managers of Spa Portamaris, respectively (Hospitality and Tourism).
Also participating were Vicente Armengol, president of the Alicante Merchants Association (Commerce); Enrique Seguí, head of the Communication and Marketing Department of AIJU – Technological Institute of Children’s Products and Leisure (Toys); Joaquín Marco Amorós, head of marketing and internationalization at AVECAL – Valencian Association of Footwear Entrepreneurs; Román Dato, innovation agent at FEMPA (energy sector); and Juan Luis Mira, PhD in Philology, director and lecturer at the Theater Classroom of the University of Alicante (cultural field).
The Focus Group was held at the Puerta Ferrisa headquarters of the Local Development Agency (Impulsalicante) of the Alicante City Council, and was coordinated by Manuel Amorós Silvestre, managing director of the Alicante Local Development Agency, and by Elena Gomis and Cristina de Rojas, representing ALIA’s technical team.
Improvement of cleanliness and use of facilities
As for the main conclusions of the speakers, they have pointed to the public administration as “the key piece” to speed up the technological, cultural and economic change of the city; and they have proposed to develop lines of communication where the flow of information with the administrations and the economic sectors themselves is “efficient and agile”.
They have also emphasized the benefits of better management of industrial land, which, in their opinion, “falls into disuse after being purchased, preventing other companies from taking advantage of it and reducing the value of the city”. In this regard, they have called for “taking responsibility” in terms of the management of “abandoned” spaces, revaluing the facilities of the center to avoid obsolescence.
As for the existing industrial land, they have proposed to review access to all industrial estates, provide them with services for workers, improve mobility and promote collaboration between these areas by sharing resources.
In relation to the center of Alicante, they have called for the establishment of measures for the compatibility of nightlife and rest of the residents, agreeing on the need to improve the facilities of the city and urban cleanliness, raising awareness among citizens from education and the approach of new more innovative strategies, while they have called for an increase and optimization of parking spaces for vehicles in the downtown area and suburbs and the increase of charging points for electric cars.
In this regard, Roman Dato has exposed the “strategic opportunity” that can involve the production of green hydrogen to be “self-sufficient” in Alicante, taking advantage of facilities, professionals in the metal and plastics industries and existing infrastructure.
Dolores María Mejía Moya highlighted the importance, in her opinion, of “promoting teleworking as a sustainable and practical method”, a point on which Asunción and Cristina Soro Bonmatí agreed, pointing out that this type of work is “an enhancer of efficiency and sustainability”.
The representatives of the Bonmatí Group have focused on the “situation of uncertainty regarding access to the first housing, which seems to worsen more and more, with Spain being well above the European average in the age at which it is acquired”, just as they have warned that the “administrative obstacles” act “as an obstacle for investment”.
Throughout the meeting, the “support” of the administration has been required to focus on the de-seasonalization of the tourism market “imposed”, according to those present, by climate change, enhancing technologically specialized services and incorporating cultural offerings throughout the year.
Another of the requests of these sectors has been to convey to the administration the “need to balance the interests of all production systems so that small businesses coexist with large supermarkets or chains, nightlife with residential tourism, or physical sales with online sales, thus protecting the differentiating image of Alicante in its entire spectrum and offering consumers the opportunities of the future”.
For his part, Enrique Seguí wanted to show the “advantages of dynamizing and bringing the R&D&I model closer to small and medium-sized companies”, while Dato requested greater “assistance to companies so that they are able to develop themselves and become self-sufficient, providing incentives for R&D”.
Throughout the different interventions, it has been emphasized how positive it would be to improve the connection of transport networks and encourage the opening of an intermodal station. On this subject, Joaquín Marco Amorós described the connection between the different transport networks as “inefficient”, and called for the “harmonization of the connections from the center to the Alicante-Elche Airport”.
Finally, those present were in favor of rethinking water management and promoting the development of new supply plans in the face of water shortages in the city; and emphasized the need to consider new methods of promoting culture, considering the musical events and attracting tourism, especially in the summer months.