A lasting relationship

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Located in the north of Spain, the Basque Country -"Euskadi", in Basque language- is one of the most industrial regions in Europe. The goal set by the regional government for the next few years is to reach 40% of GDP linked to the advanced manufacturing industry and related services, and it is a goal that is already very close to being achieved.

The sectors in which the Basque Country is present cover a wide range. The Mercedes Vito van is manufactured in Vitoria-Gasteiz, capital of the Basque Country. Basque companies supply components to the automotive sector all over the world. Structural elements of Airbus models are manufactured by a powerful aeronautical industry, led by Aernnova, Alestis and Aciturri, and ITP, a Rolls Royce company, which manufactures aeroplane engines and industrial turbines not too far from Bilbao. The future driverless train in London will be manufactured by the Basque firm CAF, based near San Sebastián, which also supplies DMU to Wales & Borders. Thousands of factories in the UK are equipped with machinery made in the Basque Country. An important part of the wind turbines located in the North Sea are manufactured or managed by companies with Basque capital, and Basque technology is also present on oil platforms in the same area.

This entire Basque industry has the support of universities, research centres and a vast network of industrial engineering and subcontractors and services companies, which have established themselves as a sector with a life of its own, developing technology and being present, as a reliable partner, in the international markets.

According to Eustat, the Basque Statistics Body, in the first ten months of 2020, exports to the United Kingdom represent 6.4% of the total Basque foreign trade. The UK is currently the fourth market for Basque Country, just behind Germany (17.7%), France (15.5%) and the United States (6.5%). The United Kingdom is also one of the main suppliers of the Basque industry.

This industrial relationship between the United Kingdom and the Basque Country dates back a century and a half when the Basque Country supplied nearly 80% of the iron ore that was transformed by the British steel industry. The British-Basque has been a special relationship since that time, which has left a mark on the Basque culture that is still very present today.

The Basque Country will be present at SUBCON 2021, at the "Euskadi Basque Country Subcontracting" stand (stand C41). This time it is about making visible the Basque industrial subcontractors and suppliers of advanced manufacturing services, which are the basis on which the potential of the Basque industry is based. It will be a pleasure to learn more about British industry and to introduce the Basque industry to British companies.

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