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UNE and CEOE highlight the value of economic recovery standards


  • Standards are a guide for Administrations when distributing European funds, and play a key role in economic recovery.
  • Technical standards account for 1% of the Spanish GNP, and up to 5% of annual sales revenue for companies. They also reduce business costs by 7%.
  • According to The ISO Survey, Spain is the fifth country in the implementation of quality standards in companies. 

Madrid, 16 November 2021 - Corporate debt reached 87% of national GDP in the first quarter of 2021, driven by the pandemic, according to figures released by the Bank of Spain. In these circumstances, standardisation has becomes a strategic ally for the distribution of the European Union economic recovery package "Next GenerationEU," which will invest 140,000 million euros in Spanish organisations. Technical standards, or simply standards, are a guide for Administrations as they bring about harmonisation among European and international institutions. Thus, the implementation of standards is reassurance for Administrations regarding the ability of companies to manage and implement projects, as well as being a basic pillar for economic recovery.

This is one of the main conclusions of the meeting 'Standards for Economic Recovery', organised by CEOE and UNE with the aim of analysing the impact of standardisation on the main areas dealt with in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.

During the event held today at the CEOE headquarters, both organisations analysed the issues that could hinder economic recovery and highlighted standardisation as a key tool for tackling the country's problems; a 120% GDP debt, growth of 2% in the third quarter and an annual estimated deficit of more than 8%, as well as aiding reconstruction with maximum guarantees and setting the road map for business activity. Standards bring economic benefits, accounting for 1% of the Spanish GNP, and up to 5% of annual sales revenue for companies. They also reduce business costs by 7%.

The meeting also discussed matters concerning quality management, energy efficiency, digital transformation, innovation, cybersecurity, and effective corporate governance practices. Both organisations agreed on the importance of standards, which present a framework of guidance for companies to steer them through this current period of uncertainty.

According to The ISO Survey of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Spain is the fifth country in the implementation of quality standards in companies and institutions, only behind China, Italy, Japan and Germany, and leads international committees in numerous areas, such as anti-bribery, energy, health and safety at work and road safety management.

Standardisation is an effective tool for building confidence in companies that are generating new projects and for promoting their credibility, with a view to receiving European funding. The Public Administration, in favour of greater transparency in procurement and collaboration with the business fabric, supports UNE standards with a view to developing a common understanding with the private sector, using the Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for action.

UNE's Chairman, Carlos Esteban, emphasised that "standards are practical guidelines for improving business competitiveness and promoting the safety of industrial processes, product manufacturing and corporate best practices." He highlighted that "Spain is a leader in the adoption of global standards, which will be a solid basis for successful economic recovery."

For Javier Calderón, CEOE Business and Organisation Director, Spain's global leadership in this regard "is not the result of chance, but that Spain has been successfully implementing systems to improve management systems for many years." Calderón also pointed out that correct standardisation is key to providing security to Spanish companies, "especially in the current context of uncertainty."

Javier García, General Director of UNE, presented the report "UNE Standards for Economic Recovery", which analyses the vital role of standardisation in economic recovery.

The round table was chaired by the UNE Director for Standardisation and Stakeholders, Paloma García, and guests included Óscar Querol, Director of the AFME Technical Department; Carlos Martínez, Managing Director of the PTEC and Director of Innovation, Quality, Environment and OHS at SEOPAN; Raúl Megía, Manager of Processes and Certifications at Telefónica; Iratxe Madariaga, Director of Management Systems at Ormazábal; Aniceto Zaragoza, Vice Chairman of the CEOE Industry Committee, and Luis Socías, Director of the CEOE European Projects Office. The Meeting was closed by Galo Gutiérrez, General Director of Industry and SMEs of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.