Interview with Antón Valero, President of FEIQUE and EXPOQUIMIA

26 enero 2017

"Expoquimia has the necessary elements to achieve its goals and beat its own records in terms of visitors"

"Expoquimia has the necessary elements to achieve its goals and beat its own records in terms of visitors"

What does it mean for you personally to have been named president of Expoquimia? And what are the most important objectives for this event?

It is a great honor, as well as a great commitment and a personal challenge, since I consider myself a strong defender of the chemical sector. This is an industry that has a lot to contribute to the future of the people and the planet. For this reason, all the actions that stimulate the dynamization of this sector in its broadest spectrum and that focus the efforts to achieve a greater internationalization are, in turn, a big support to the strengthening of the industry and its capacity to continue giving answers to all the arising challenges.

Expoquimia shows in each edition its great influence as the most important platform for the promotion and dissemination of the applied chemistry sector in the Mediterranean. I hope that, with my modest contribution, the 2017 edition will confirm the success of this great event as a showcase of a consolidated chemical sector in Spain.

Do you think that Expoquimia 2017 has all the elements and resources to achieve the objectives it has outlined?

I firmly believe that Expoquimia has the necessary elements to achieve its goals and beat its own records in terms of visitors. The high level of representativeness of the exhibitor brands, the wide program which complements widely the classic concept of a trade fair, the novelties that will be presented and, of course, the professionalism of the people who make it possible, will turn this meeting into a key event for the chemical sector.

Expoquimia wants to go further especially in this edition, in which it has laid the foundation for its new and ambitious process of transformation for the future through the World Chemical Summit.

What events would you highlight in the next edition of Expoquimia?

Expoquimia will host eight major industrial events. All of them focus necessarily on the activity chain of the chemical sector but, above all, in the areas of science, society and industry to find inspiration for the future. These areas are intertwined and they are part of the World Chemical Summit slogan as well.

In this line, I would like to highlight two events in Expoquimia that will have much to say about the future: Smart Chemistry Smart Future and the World Congress of Chemical Engineering. Both will allow us to put the international focus of chemistry and its industry in our country.

Smart Chemistry Smart Future is organized by the Business Federation of the Spanish Chemical Industry (FEIQUE), and will be attended by the main multinational companies and organizations of the Chemical Industry. It will show the global solutions that, the sector can offer, through innovation, concerning the UN Sustainable Development Goals in which the chemical industry will have an essential role in finding solutions to these global challenges and improving the quality of life of people in everyday life.

Regarding the World Congress of Chemical Engineering, it will bring together more than 3,000 specialists and chemical engineers from all over the world. This event will take place in Spain for the first time and its organization is being led by the National Association of Chemists of Spain (ANQUE). Under the motto "Chemical Engineering in a Global World: A Tool for Cooperation and Development," the congress will address a wide range of topics: development of new products and processes, comprehensive management of resources, health issues, energy, and bioengineering.

If you had to persuade a company or organization to come to Expoquimia, what would you say?

I would summarize it in four key words or expressions: Visibility of its innovative leadership, international focus, competitiveness and ambition of the future.

As president of FEIQUE, how do you see the recent evolution of the Spanish chemical industry and how do you envisage the immediate future?

The chemical industry is one of the most dynamic and productive sectors of the Spanish economy and, therefore, one of those that contribute to generate a trustworthy economy. Not only for its direct contribution to the Spanish economy, but also for its ability to generate a strong business fabric of auxiliary companies and an important demand for advanced research, innovation, technology and engineering services. In fact, the chemical sector is the first industrial investor in R & D+ i.

With a turnover of 58,000 million euros in 2015, 16.7% more than in 2007, the year before the greatest impact of the economic crisis, the chemical sector is, in terms of added value, the fourth largest industrial sector in Spain. In fact, this growing trend in the Spanish economy is reflected in its contribution to industrial GDP, which has increased from 10% in 2007 to 12.4% at present.

The keys that explain this countercurrent growth trend of the chemical sector are three: adaptation, internationalization and innovation.

Regarding short-term growth forecasts, these are positive: we expect a growth of 2.5% in 2017 to exceed 60.8 million euros in turnover. This growth is sustained by the development of external demand, domestic consumption and by the fact that crude oil prices remain stable. This would mean an accumulated growth of 21.8% since 2007.

And how do you see the future of the sector in the long-term?

In the long-term, estimates from leading prospecting agencies indicate that chemistry is the industrial sector with the greatest growth in output until 2030: about 4.5% per year. This means that by 2030 the world's chemical industry will double its current size.

But this great potential and capacity can be slowed down in the medium and long term if certain key competitiveness factors are not improved. Some of this factors are cross-cutting to most of Spain's industrial sectors: energy costs, efficiency, international trade orientation of transport and logistics infrastructure policies, or the over-cost and over-regulation derived from the European framework, among others.





Anton Valero is the General Manager of Dow for Spain and Portugal since March 2004, President of FEIQUE (Business Federation of the Spanish Chemical Industry) and, since last November, of Expoquimia. He is also a member of the Steering Group of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Water of the European Commission, of the Boards of Directors of AmCham Spain, and of CEOE (Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations).


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