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SEP 12, 2012

Opening of Area 31 with the Prime Minister of Finland

The Prime Minister of Finland, Jyrki Katainen, was at IE Business School to inaugurate Area 31, IE Business School’s new innovation and entrepreneurialism zone, where he gave an address on competitiveness through innovation in times of austerity.

The event begins with a brief introduction of Juan Jose Güemes, representing the IE. He begins by introducing the Prime Minister of Finland, Jyrki Katainen, who has come to celebrate the inauguration of Area 31.

"Authority or growth? The answer is: Sustainable Growth." Refers to a phrase normally used by the Prime Minister and said by Juan Jose Güemes who then added "I wish other Prime Ministers had paid more attention to your words”

Then the Prime Minister starts off by talking about the current situation in Spain and the Euro, comparing it with the economic crisis that took place at the beginning of the 90s, while he was at school and University. He claims that the future of the students at that time was very critical, with lack of hope to find work and succeed. "We all tried to stay studying as long as we could, to prevent becoming part of the high unemployment rates"

He then spoke about his experience in England (Leicester) as an exchange student. He referred to it as a remarkable opportunity, encouraging students in general, but especially those in the IE, to take advantage of that kind of opportunities.

He insists that to be successful in the business world today, it is vital to have a good education. "It's not like before, now to become successful, the foundation of a good education is essential. And what differentiates a good institution is the teaching, as they try to educate students as individuals with enough strength to become successful entrepreneurs.”

He continued talking about measures that have been taken by the Spanish government to overcome the crisis and improve the economy of the country and of Europe in general, in a lasting and effective way.

"We have to do what we have to do," says supporting the measures and proposals recently made by the Spanish government. "I understand that many Spanish citizens disagree and believe that the measures chosen by the Government are unfair, but the only reason for this reaction is because they involve sacrifice. And no one likes to sacrifice. But unfortunately sacrifice is one of the few things that can guarantee positive results, so I think that Spain is carrying out the correct measures and finally taking control, what the Government has done so far is credible and impressive. I cannot confirm if there would be more space to do more, but for now and in my opinion, Spain is getting prepared to become even more competitive than it was before."

According to the Prime Minister the base of a sustainable and progressive economy, consists of a list of essential pillars. These include:

* Confidence Building

* Entrepreneurship

* Global Competition

* International Relations

* High value education

He defends Spain, saying the crisis is a problem in all Europe. "A problem in Spain, is a problem in Finland." He insists that the government is doing a good job, and that although many people think the solution would be to ask for help (for it is the easiest), the fact is that other measures that tackle each problem directly, such as the cuts, are more effective.

He concluded by recalling that there are other economies that have not only been affected, but which are also growing economically. Such as in the case of Russia and China. "These economies provide hope because they create opportunities to start new business, even in times of crisis."