(An adaptation of the article published in ElSingulardigital.cat and written by Carlen Toronjoy i Manyé from the association Cercle Tecnològic de Catalunya)
[Cercle Tecnològic de Catalunya is an independent non-profit transversal association composed by companies and free professionals that aim to become a reference in regards technology development in Catalonia and to improve negotiations between companies, institutions, technologists and scholars.]
In economic terms, Catalonia is, indeed, a viable country. Well-known economy scholars and organizations have verified it in several reports. As for example the Wilson group (www.wilson.cat), a new organization that is developing an important pedagogic initiative, by providing clear and conclusive data in regards to the economic viability of our country.
However, and aside of the economic data, there are other strong points for Catalonia. I am talking about the diverse and flexible composition of the business network, with both small and medium size companies, industry of all scopes, strong drive to export abroad (precisely, Catalan exports have lately risen up to 50% of what is produced in the country), the good approach in international recruitment (ICREA program is a nice example), the will to develop our technological infrastructure (Marenostrum super-computer), important clusters in biotechnology, a fast-growing technology industry, hospitals and medicine professionals who become a worldwide reference in their fields, prestigious universities and business schools, presence of important multinationals (T-systems, BASF, Siemens, Alstom, Telefónica, Indra, Gas Natural, Microsoft, Seat, Nissan etc.), courageous entrepreneurs and qualified professionals, technology development centers, a very strong tourism industry, a relevant presence online… But what is most important is that Catalonia has millions of citizens that work hard every day and who generate richness. Above I have only mentioned a few examples which are evidence of the strength of Catalan economy. Therefore, now the question is, why are we living in such scarce circumstances? Why is there no money in the safe-box?
The answer here is pretty obvious. We are going through a very tough crisis and we lack liquidity, plus the credit provided by banks has disappeared. But this is not the worst part. We can also blame the real state bubble. And there are other issues worth to mention, and we must emphatically express them, we must not stop to firmly say what is wrong. Despite the global crisis, Catalonia keeps on generating money, but we do not administrate our wealth very well. This is our tragedy: we work hard, we do things quite good, but we are unable to manage our benefits properly. Why? Mainly, because we have a relevant flight of capital called Spain that jeopardizes the growth of our economy.
Nevertheless, the last elections have defined a specific roadmap. And now we must rise to the occasion, with sensibility and steadiness. Catalonia is a millenarian nation with enough social and economic drive to move forward into independence.