The Direction General of Commerce and Business receives this award from AENB as the most collaborating public entity during the past year. The Director General, César Pacheco, considers the nautical sector as very dynamic and assures that his department will do everything possible to eliminate obstacles and to promote the development of the sector. The 6th Prizegiving Ceremony of these awards will take place on the 21st of February during the galadinner after the Annual General Meeting of the Association.
The Direction General of Commerce and Business receives this award from AENB as the most collaborating public entity during the past year. As a Director General, what does this distinction mean to you?
To start with, it is a surprise, I didn´t expect it. Secondly, it is something to be very pleased about as we see it as a recognition from the nautical sector towards the work that the whole team of the Direction General of Commerce and Business is doing. Our team is a group of public workers and employees who through their daily work try to help the balearic entrepreneurs. In fact, with a reference to the nautical sector there are three employees who coordinate and maintain the relationship with the nautical sector, specially through the Organizing Committee of the Palma Boat Show. They are Paquita Ferragut, José Maria Sans and Margarita Vidaña, the three form part of the Direction General of the Commerse and Business through the afficiliated public company IDI (Insitute of Business Innovation). The award is also a recognition of their labour.
When you started in the Government the nautical sector was on a war footing. A month earlier, during the Palma Boat Show 2011, entrepreneurs, professionals and users had organized a unified protest for the first time against what they considered negligence of the Government towards the sector. How in your opinion has the relationship between the nautical world and public administration developed?
I think in a positive direction. At the moment we are working side by side with the nautical sector and specially with the Palma International Boat Show. We have revived the role of the Organizing Committee so that the sector can have a say how the Show should be organized. Besides we have generated lots of other activities in conjunction with the Show to act as a locomotive. The end result is the Palma International Nautical Week, and I think this is good for everybody. For those involved, there will be no lack of illusion, effort and dedication.
In 2012 there was no Palma Boat Show. Being an event with a long tradition, was cancellation a diffcult decision?
I would like to remind that this decisión was made within the Organizing Committee, it was not a one-sided decisión by the Government. For my part, it was an extremely hard decision, a difficult spot to be in. But already the following month we were working to start afresh and to start building from zero. We could say that we took a step back to be able to go forward with more security and strength. It was an opportunity to create a new model for the Palma Boat Show. I would go on to say the boat is on the right course, well manouvered and catching speed.
This year the new Palma International Boat Show will be the flagship of events which for a couple of weeks make the sea and the nautical sector the centre of attention in the city.
Continuing with the theme of the Boat Show – the Organizing Committee had always been a mere consultative body with very little weight when it came to organizing the event. However, for the 2013 edition it has been given lot more power. Do think it has been positive to give prominence to the private sector in the organization of the event?
This Government believes in the collaboration and team work between the public and private sectors, Personally, I believe it is time to stay united and therefore we have revived the role of the Organizing Committee, to hear and listen to the opinión of the private sector. This Committee has in turn allowed us to work with the sector in other issues.
At the end of the day the public administration has to work side by side with the entrepreneur in the Organizing Committee which has the executive power to decide over all the related issues.
Will this formula be repeated in 2014?
I think regardless of who will be in charge of this insitution , when it comes to the Palma Boat Show, the position of the Organizing Committee should always be respected. It is a way for us to be able to work together with the private sector and we believe it is good both now and in the future.
A few months ago the first Working Group of the Nautical Sector of the Balearic Islands took place. This first contact between the Government and the private sector resulted in many ideas but a also a lot of homework. The high season is about to start in the nautical sector – with reference to the measures discussed at that meeting, what has the Government implemented or is about to implement?
Here we have a series of questions. Some short term, some médium or long term. A plan to develop all three different angles is going to be made. Logically there is a series of demands by the nautical sector that we on the public side have to study. When we are talking about harmonization of legislation or treatment by the State Port Authority or the Balearic Port Authority, results are not achieved in a couple of days. We have to establish working teams to go in depth into the issues.
We have to try to redact a document that is agreed upon within the autonomic community and that as a starting point develop the working teams. I trust that within short the conclusions can be presented to the Economic Vice President, to the Autonomic Secretary of the Business Promotion and Employment as well as to the President. In any case, for the government the nautical sector is a strategic sector. It is identified as a sector with strong potential to grow and to generate employment.
During these almost two years you have had various meetings with AENB and other business associations. How would you define the nautical sector in the Balearics?
In the Balearics the nautical sector is very dynamic. I think it is a very well organized business sector that has its issues very well defined. In fact, to have been able to organize the abovementioned Sector Working Group is due to the hard work of the nautical sector and the extensive documentation it has provided for us. The nautical sector has paved the way and made us open our eyes. I think that the nautical sector provides us with a great opportunity. There are great profesionals, good managers and what we have to do in the public administration is to eliminate obstacles so that they can develop their businesses. Through these companies we can create jobs, which is one of the goals we strive to in the Government.
With half a term in the office still ahead of you, how do you think the future of the nautical sector will evolve? And in the long term?
I don´t have a cristal ball. I think we´ll have to concentrate on the daily business without losing the sight of the future. Day by day we´ll make progress with the issues that were discussed in the Sector Working Group. Once everything has been analyzed and assessed we can decide what is possible to put in practice and what is not. I trust that when we look back, we can appreciate what we have done for the nautical sector because there will be more companies, the amount of jobs have been maintained and the companies have a better competitive edge internationally.