28 February 2024

Fundación LAB Mediterraneo takes part in AVE’s General Assembly 2024

Valencia, 28 February 2024.- Fundación LAB Mediterraneo, a project promoted by the Employers’ Association of Valencia (AVE), participated in the Association’s General Assembly, held on Wednesday 28 February in the Alquería del Basket sports facilities. This organization includes 189 businesspeople from the three provinces of the Region of Valencia, leaders in their respective sectors and, as a whole, with a turnover equivalent to 63% of GDP of the Region of Valencia and generating over 300,000 jobs. 

The day began with a few words of welcome from the president of AVE, Vicente Boluda, who presented the 2023 activity report, now available on the association’s website, and took stock of the actions carried out by the organisation during the past year. He then presented the action plan for 2024. 

“At AVE we have worked to make sure that the whole of the Region of Valencia is aware of the importance of there being more and better businesspeople, so that our educational model gives real options to our young people; to have the proper infrastructure to enable our exports and our tourism to compete in major leagues; and to jump on the bandwagon of technological developments, which we are obliged to do”, he pointed out. 

Vicente Boluda also stressed that “AVE is a group of leading businesspeople who are very clear about the importance of being structured at a social and business level, committed, who get down to work, who act and who take joint responsibility in trying to find solutions to our challenges in the medium and long term. 

For his part, Héctor Dominguis (GDES), president of the LAB Mediterráneo Foundation, took stock of this project promoted by AVE in 2021 with the mission to position the Region of Valencia as a national and European benchmark in entrepreneurship, innovation, technology and research. 

Among other initiatives, Dominguis mentioned the meetings held to foment connections with SMEs, startups, researchers and undergraduates as well as the business mission to Silicon Valley (California, United States) in November to learn from regions leading in the Foundation’s areas of action, about which Myriam Gimeno, CEO of the Gimeno Group, and Maria José Felix, CEO of Helados Estiu, shared what they had learnt. 

Conoce los aprendizajes de la misión empresarial a Silicon Valley de Fundación LAB

Find out about the learnings from the Fundación LAB business mission to Silicon Valley 

In addition, the new associates to join AVE since its last General Assembly in February 2023 were introduced: 

  • Jordi Azorín, Hidraqua 
  • Sara Díez, Vestel Ingenieros 
  • Jesús Llinares, Andreu World 
  • Rafael Milla, Raminatrans 
  • José María Moreno, El Castillo Group 
  • Rubén Navarro, Casas Inhaus 
  • Rosendo Ortí, Caixa Popular 
  • Ángela Pérez, Health in Code 
  • Josep Pla, Avanta Salud 
  • Alberto Rueda, Tahona de Utiel 
  • José Antonio Tobías, DCM Automatizada 
  • Víco Valero, Grupo Valgime 
  • Consuelo Vaquer, Nirvel Beauty Group 
  • Carlos Vicent, CYROS 

As is tradition, Pedro López (Chocolates Valor) and Olallo Villoldo (Grupotec) carried out an interactive survey through which the associates were able to share their views on current issues related to the economy, business and the environment. The main conclusions drawn are: 

  • 89% of AVE members will maintain or increase employment in 2024 and 80% will increase their investment in Spain. 
  • 73% of AVE members will reinvest their profits 
  • The issue relating to the economic environment that most worries AVE members is the rise in production costs such as raw materials, energy, labour costs, and the persistence of inflation and high interest rates. 
  • Almost 80% of the partners do not participate in any project financed with Next Generation funds, half of them because of inaccessibility, lack of information and clarity. 
  • The most worrying aspect of the political environment is the polarisation of society, caused by policymakers and political instability in Spain.
  • For the first time in a long time, AVE members approve the political situation in the Region of Valencia, with a score of 3.73 out of 5, compared to 1.67 the previous year, but it still fails at the national level. 
  • Members are more optimistic about the economic situation of the Region of Valencia and Spain, as 90% think that 2024 will be similar to, or better than, 2023 in terms of the economy. 
  • Regarding the government’s actions, AVE members, once again, call for policies that help promote the creation of jobs, companies, and stimulate economic activity, as well as ensure political and institutional stability. 
  • More than 80% of AVE members will increase their commitment to sustainability in the coming years, and contribute more resources and budget to the area. 
  • AVE members have valued the impact of AI on their companies. In this sense, 94% of partners believe that AI has and/or will have a major impact on their sector, and that AI can help their company mainly by improving efficiency and productivity. 
  • An issue that is of great concern among employers is absenteeism, as more than 70% currently have a rate of absenteeism of between 1 and 7% in their companies.

Setting out the actions promoted by the AVE Family Business Forum (AVE Forum) in the last financial year were Darío Grimalt (Ale-Hop) as president and Nuria Ballester (Logifruit) as committee member. The AVE Forum is a group formed in 2006 led by the next generations of AVE associates. Currently, it has more than 120 members who, whether working in the family business or not, share an interest in having a better knowledge of the family business. 

After a brief pause, other businesspeople, managers and business, trade union and civil society representatives from the Region of Valencia and Spain joined the final part of the Assembly. In it, José María Aznar, former President of the Government engaged in a dialogue led by journalist Maribel Vilaplana, in which he gave an analysis of the current national and international context, both from the political and economic point of view. 

Attendees then paid an emotional tribute to businessman Generoso Bertolín, who founded Grupo Bertolín together with his two brothers, in gratitude for his contribution, dedication and selfless dedication to the organization. Amid applause from the attendees, the president of AVE presented him with a commemorative plaque of the moment. 

AVE President Vicente Boluda and the Honorable President of the Generalitat Valenciana, Carlos Mazón closed the AVE General Assembly 2024. 

Fundación LAB Mediterráneo

Fundación LAB Mediterráneo is a project created by AVE with the mission of positioning the Region of Valencia as a national and European benchmark in entrepreneurship, innovation, technology and research.

To achieve this, it has set itself five objectives: to promote the creation and attraction of technology start-ups; to work to attract national and international technology companies to set up in the Region of Valencia and create a ‘tractor effect’; to promote support for companies in non-technological sectors to accelerate their digital transformation; to contribute to increasing private investment in R&D&I; and to help promote research.

The Foundation’s Board of Trustees is made up of the following entities: Aceitunas Cazorla, Aquaservice/Plug and PlayAVEBaleàriaBanco SabadellBoluda Corporación MarítimaCaixaBankDacsa GroupEmbutidos Martínez/KMZERO, GDESGrupo AZAGrupo BertolínGrupo GimenoHelados EstiuImportacoLanzaderaLogifruitNunsys, RoyoInvext, S2 GrupoSPB/Cleanity TIBA/Romeu, Verne Technology Group Zeus/Sesame.


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