Preface

The desirability to have analyses that are almost permanently updated leads us to implement an important change in the preparation (and we also hope in the use) of the Basque Country Competitiveness Report; which is now published annually rather than every two years.

The following assessment is a concise analysis of the evolution of the main indicators of competitiveness and well-being, through which we compare ourselves with other territories. This work is supported by an online platform which makes it possible to interact with and consult the indicators in real time with the most recent data. We invite you to try it and help us make improvements by sending us your comments.

In the near future, this reflection of the state of competitiveness in the Basque Country will be accompanied by an in-depth analysis of a specific aspect considered critical for ensuring the future of the Basque Country’s ability to compete.

The Basque Country Competitiveness Report 2018 has been prepared in a context of achievements in economic and social performance. The Basque economy has bounced back after the deep economic recession that has shaped much of Orkestra’s analysis since 2010. One of the missions of this Institute, especially in view of the difficulties that a significant part of society continues to experience on a daily basis, is to continue to analyse the determining factors that define our competitiveness.

The ability to compete sustainably in the long term implies continuing to improve conditions and behaviour that ensure good performance in terms of growth, employment and welfare. The Basque Country has improved in many of the determining factors of competitiveness analysed in this report. However, we are not the only territory to have improved in these parameters. Other territories are also improving, which explains the weakening of the Basque Country’s relative position in some of the indicators presented.

We must also note that, although the overall economic outlook is favourable in the short term, it is also very uncertain in the medium to long term. The consistent decisions of some countries that introduce uncertainties and variability, and the likely slowdown, or change, in the economic cycle, can slow down and call into question economic growth.

In this regard, it should also be pointed out that, as we said in our Manifesto for Orkestra’s tenth anniversary, we live in an era in which we are faced with major challenges relating to demography, the environment, resources and social cohesion; a historical stage in which geopolitical changes (such as Brexit or the questioning of international trade as it has been developing) can bring around important changes in markets and economic transactions in general.

In this context, the 2018 Competitiveness Report aims to serve as a tool to better understand our strengths and weaknesses, and how our capacity to compete behaves. This work will help us to anticipate and be able to react to new trends and potential threats that may arise in our response to the different challenges we face in the Basque Country according to our Manifesto to ensure the well-being of all people.

The work carried out at Orkestra would not be possible without the work and involvement of all the people who make up Orkestra, or who collaborate in different ways in its work. And, of course, it would not be possible without the invaluable support of our sponsors. We therefore find it only natural to thank the companies and institutions that support us, and the society for which we work.

We are confident that this work is in line with the trust placed in us.

Ignacio Mª Echeberria
Chairman
Orkestra-Basque Institute of Competitiveness
Deusto Foundation