The Spanish Railway Association (MAFEX) qualifies as positive the results obtained in 2013, both in relation to the activities carried out as to the momentum of the presence of the Spanish industry abroad. Although the Association recalls that last year was particularly difficult for internationalization, since it meant “a great effort for companies due the credit difficulties, the strong competition from foreign companies and the different barriers that were found along the way. Once more, SMEs are suffering more these obstacles since, as a general rule, they have less “muscle” to address this long period of crisis.
Aware of this situation, MAFEX has made a special effort in 2013 to carry out an intensive plan of activities aimed at supporting the growth of sales in the foreign sector, as well as the presence of Spanish companies worldwide. Among them, we must highlight initiatives such as the IV International Railway Convention, which involved 46 institutions from 20 countries, the agreement with Renfe to promote the Spanish railway sector abroad, and the development of the Strategic Plan 2014 – 2016. This last one has been designed with the aim of establishing an action guide for the Association to address the new challenges of the development of the rail industry worldwide.
According to MAFEX, the year 2013 has been very intense in terms of direct and inverse missions and meetings, some in which 105 companies participated, which have allowed to contact representatives from 20 countries. In addition, visits were made to many different countries to strengthen trade relations, such as the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Spain, France, Ukraine, Romania, Poland, South Africa, Turkey, Malaysia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Thailand, Indonesia and India.
Spain’s international presence in rail projects around the world is increasing
As for contracts abroad, waiting to know the final figures for the year, recent data indicate that the presence of Spanish companies associated with MAFEX in international projects has also been an upward trend. The opening of offices and production plants, as well as the achievement of important international projects in different countries or regions such as Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Brazil, South Africa, European Union, India, Saudi Arabia etc., continue to provide oxygen to the companies of the sector among the difficult national situation.
Among the large number of projects, we must highlight the participation of Spanish companies, in various fields of activity, in the metros of Riad (Saudi Arabia), Doha (Qatar), Santiago (Chile), Sao Paulo (Brazil) or Guadalajara (Mexico). To these, we must also add other recent awards such as the implementation of ERTMS in Turkey, the driverless Downtown Line (Singapore), the opening of the LAV connecting Barcelona and Figueres with France, the provision of high-performance trains in Russia and Kazakhstan, signalling systems in the Cairo – Alexandria (Egypt) Corridor or the installation of a trench around the tram in Bordeaux (France), among others.
During this last year, international presence has also increased with other important milestones such as the completion of the kinetic energy recovery system in the trams of Bielefeld (Germany), achieving the largest order of national history in machine tools for Australia and India or the Master Plan for the Public Transportation System in Muscat (Oman).
2014: Improved internationalization and competitiveness
After years of boosting promotion, MAFEX, aware of the importance of continuing this work to enable the departure of the Spanish companies to foreign companies has set as priorities the intensification of work on behalf of the sector and the improvement of competitiveness. To achieve these goals, MAFEX has designed a plan of action that will take place in 2014 through various strategic committees and working groups and will involve the implementation of the recently adopted Strategic Plan 2014-2016.
MAFEX also wants to give special relevance to the support received by all public and private organizations as well as the trust placed by the partners in the work of the Association, which has enabled it to remain as the main reference in the Spanish railway industry, both within and outside our borders.