“The business sector joins forces to promote the island’s growth and reduce imbalances.” This is the statement of intent after the first meeting of the newly-formed Forum for the Progress of Tenerife. The inaugural event was attended by the President of the Government of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo. A vast group of Tenerife entrepreneurs “have decided to step forward to join” this collective. The goal of this new association is to “boost Tenerife’s growth potential within the Archipelago”. They aim to achieve this “by promoting entrepreneurship, competitiveness, and the development of free enterprise and society in general”. With this objective, the forum “will promote analysis and debate in collaboration with other economic and social actors”. It also aims to “engage with the administration on matters considered essential to reduce the economic and social imbalances that weigh down our development”. In addition to Clavijo, the event was also attended by the Deputy Minister of the Presidency, Alfonso Cabello.
The firm intention to “act in accordance with social and business responsibility above sectoral or individual interests” was evident. The inspiration comes from the business associations that make up the Circles of Entrepreneurs in Spain. The activity of this new collective, whose organizational structure will be unveiled next March, “aims to contribute to the island’s progress with ideas and proposals that avoid the politicization and polarization of society, in line with the generational change that the island’s business sector has undergone in recent years”. The first step will be to draw up an annual work plan addressing relevant issues, focusing primarily on the need to harness those factors that could initially be considered negative in a fragmented, isolated, and remote territory.
The lack of affordable housing is one of the top priorities. A problem that in Tenerife is exacerbated by a population increase of 13,000 inhabitants in the last year and a 33% population increase since 2000. Furthermore, they emphasize “other non-residential uses that are aggravated by the lack of new supply and availability of land for housing”.
The challenges that businesses face in hiring personnel in certain professional fields after Covid-19 “demonstrate that efforts to improve training and vocational education have not solved the high unemployment rates, and this is another issue that the Forum intends to address,” as well as the promotion of dual training.