Jordi Martí, full academician and member of the Governing Board of the Royal European Academy of Doctors-Barcelona 1914 (RAED), participated in the last Encuentro en La Vanguardia (Meeting in La Vanguardia) to analyse the future of Barcelona as the economic capital of southern Europe with other experts and representatives of Barcelona’s business and civil society, such as Marc Rodríguez, general director of the International Convention Centre of Barcelona; Jaume Collboni, vice-president of Economic and Social Development of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona; Christoph Tessmar, director of the Barcelona Convention Bureau; Mateu Hernández, president of Barcelona Global, and Antoni Bover, president of the French Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona. The conclusions of the meeting were published last Sunday, May 13, in the financial information supplement Dinero of the newspaper La Vanguardia.
The participants in this meeting agreed that Barcelona needs to consolidate its leadership as a world congress capital with a strategic plan for the future, drawn up between public administrations and private initiative, with a horizon that goes beyond the political cycles to equip it with the enough stability and vision of the future.
Rodríguez pointed out that what is fundamental in the leadership of Barcelona as organizer of fairs and conferences has been the success of collaboration between public administrations and private initiative. Collboni insisted on the need for the city to have a plan that defines an economic vision of high added value, with a digital and sustainable base. Tessmar, on the other hand, gave value to the figures pointing out that in 2017: 2,174 meetings of all kinds have been held in the city that have provided an economic impact of 1,850 million euros.
Jordi Martí stressed that Barcelona is the only non-state capital city that is among the first in the world in congresses and that this is due exclusively to the initiative of civil society. Mateu Hernández asked about the possibility of joint management of the International Congress Centre of Barcelona and the Fira of Barcelona, and Bover considered that Barcelona City Council should fully appreciate the great contribution made by this centre through its great international network for the attraction of congresses.