The Casino de Madrid met yesterday the business representatives of the Valencian Community and Madrid, as well as various businessmen from both territories, at the I Madrid-Valencian Community Business Summit, organized by the “Fundación Conexus” that seeks to create an entente to claim , among other challenges, a better planning of this already consolidated economic alliance.

The meeting was, in practice, the embodiment of an alternative to other axes such as the Mediterranean, more reviled in its connections, although the president of the Conexus Foundation, Manuel Broseta, wanted to emphasize in his conclusions that “the Madrid-València axis, connected to the Mediterranean corridor, will give competitive advantage to both communities”.

And it is that this first business summit focused on logistics and mobility, a speech in which the port of Valencia has a very relevant role because, as its president, Aurelio Martínez, explained, 40% of the international merchandise it manages the Valencian port are linked to the Community of Madrid. Of these, 30% of the merchandise exchanged travels by train, but this rail connection requires better planning, they requested yesterday.

“The port of Valencia is the port of Madrid, we alone could not represent such a high percentage if it were not for the contribution of the Community of Madrid,” Martínez remarked. Minutes before, the president of the Business Confederation of the Valencian Community (CEV), Salvador Navarro, had also pointed out that “the port of Valencia is the natural outlet for the Madrid market”, in addition to remarking that both territories will be key “for the social and economic transformation that this country seeks”.

Because the appointment was an excuse to strengthen the already fruitful commercial relations between the two territories, as reflected in the study prepared by the Ivie in 2020 and to which the speakers alluded on various occasions. Among them, its research director Francisco Pérez, who explained that “between Madrid and Valencia, not only trade is relevant, but also the interdependence of their interconnections.”

The Community of Madrid is the first region of origin and destination of the purchases and sales of the companies of the Valencian Community, concentrating 33.1% of the sales of Valencian companies to the rest of the Spanish regions.

And from the point of view of purchases, Madrid is also the first region of origin of these Valencian companies, concentrating 35.6% of the total.

However, there is a latent inequality between both territories that for the Valencian Institute of Economic Research (Ivie), present at the meeting, it is important to correct. Its research director, Professor Francisco Pérez, pointed out that the results are not the same in both territories because “in both there is a percentage of growth, but in per capita income there is a great difference. We are 12 points below the average of per capita income and that forces many questions to be asked,” launched Pérez.

For this reason, he defended that the axis will be one of “prosperity and development if this happens at both poles. If we want it to be an axis of prosperity, we should not contribute to concentration, but to dispersion, and for that it is important that the Community Valenciana attract value-added investments”, maintained Pérez.

In this way, he alluded to the agglutination of investments that take place in Madrid and its capital effect, but also to the specialization of the Valencian Community in activities with low added value and in a productive fabric “little based on intangibles” and with not a few weaknesses in its public sector, a reality that was outlined this week in Valencia by Joaquín Maudos, also an economist from the Ivie, during the V Valencian Economy Congress.

The president of Air Nostrum and iryo, Carlos Bertomeu, whose company will inaugurate its rail connection between Madrid-València in a few weeks, or the president of Ford Iberia, Jesús Alonso, also spoke at the summit.

On the Madrid bench, as they say, were the vice president of the Madrid Business Confederation-CEOE, Carlos González Bosch, who opted for “twinning territories” and valued “the complementarity between Madrid and Valencia, because it is very important”. Also Ángel Alonso, president of the Madrid Chamber of Commerce, who defended that both regions complement each other and denied that “Madrid thrives on others doing worse.”

The message to the regional administrations, especially distant in their policies, was also not lacking, to whom the businessmen asked to “continue working and help in this dynamic”, as Manuel Broseta launched at the closing of the meeting, which will have a second edition in 2023.