The Iberian Pole

The Iberian Pole and its potential in Industry 4.0

The economic and technological changes derived from globalization have driven the generation of industrial axes that allow companies to improve their competitiveness in the international market.

With the integration towards a world market, the objective is to cross national and continental borders and position itself in economic and industrial poles with strategic advantages to compete in a global market.

It is in this context that the Iberian Pole takes on importance as an intercontinental commercial hub, located in the area between Spain, Portugal and Morocco, which connects the economies of Europe and Africa.

Industry 4.0: a new industrial model

Industry 4.0 is already a reality in manufacturing, logistics or agricultural industry. It represents an evolution towards a model of more flexible, intelligent and connected factories as well as an opportunity for the sector to increase its competitiveness and sustainability.

Improvements in manufacturing processes, with digitized platforms and the ability to react immediately, offers the possibility of adapting products, processes and business models more quickly to the new demands of customers and the market.

A new industrial model based on collaborative innovation with connected and flexible production means, integrated supply chains and digital distribution and customer service channels.

An example of innovation in Industry 4.0 in the Iberian Pole is the PSA Group, which already in 2015 grouped its centers in Vigo, Madrid and Mangualde (Portugal) in the Iberian Peninsula Industrial Pole, which would later be joined by Zaragoza.

If, as we have seen, Industry 4.0 is based on the digital and technological connection of all the processes that make up the value chain, the Iberian Pole enables a strategic connection between this industry and the main economies of the world.

Powerful logistics infrastructure network:

The Iberian Peninsula is characterized by an extensive road and rail network and by a large number of international airports and ports.
The Iberian railway network is characterized by a high level of interconnection between the different modes of transport. Spain is considered one of the best countries with access to the world’s train. In addition to having the longest fast track network in the European Union and the third in the world.

The air traffic of the Iberian Pole – Spain, Portugal and Morocco is made up of more than 70 airports and connections with the main economies of the world.

It has an important network of ports, among which Vigo stands out as the main Atlantic port in Spain, with connections with northern Europe and Africa and with Latin America. As well as the port of Tangier as the first in Africa and the fourth in the Mediterranean.

In addition, the Strait of Gibraltar is one of the most frequented navigation passages in the world and through which a large part of the maritime traffic from the Mediterranean to America sails.

Morocco, the gateway to Africa:

14.4 kilometers separate Morocco from the Iberian Peninsula. Proximity to the European Union offers logistical advantages that make the country a good platform for entry into the markets of North Africa, Central Africa and West Africa.

The report “Morocco, Africa’s Gateway” published by ICEX Spain Exports and Investments, highlights the African continent as a market with much potential in the future.

It presents Morocco as a good entry route due to its connections by sea, land or air, its network of platforms and logistics areas and a series of multilateral and bilateral trade agreements with different countries in the area.

Opportunities of the Iberian Pole for the industrial sector.

According to the Report of the Metalmechanical Sector carried out by the Instituto Gallego de Promoción Económica (IGAPE) in 2017, between the opportunities for the sector in Galicia they emphasize: the possibility of strategic alliances, the growth of the innovations in technologies and their application in the productive equipments and the platforms of internationalization towards foreign markets.
Challenges to be addressed at Mindtech: Metal Industry and Technologies International Trade Fair, the benchmark industrial fair at the Iberian Pole held in Vigo from 10 to 12 September.