MADRID, 21 October 2013 – LI Yong, Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), today visited the office of José Manuel Soria López, Spain’s Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, and attended key meetings with María de Coriseo González-Izquierdo, the CEO of the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX) and with representatives of two Spanish energy institutions, the Spanish Energy Club and the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE).
José Manuel Soria López received the Director General for a private meeting, which was followed by a meeting between senior officials of the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, headed by the Minister, and the UNIDO delegation, headed by the Director General.
LI Yong explained his new vision for UNIDO, based on the concept of inclusive and sustainable industrial development, and his intention to expand UNIDO's partnerships with other development organizations and the private sector. He also stressed his intention to enhance UNIDO's cooperation with Spain, including Spanish development institutions and the private sector, and briefed the Minister on the meetings he had had during the course of the day with the Spanish Energy Club, IDAE and ICEX, as well as one with Spain’s Development Finance Company (COFIDES).
Minister Lopez noted that the impact of the financial crisis had underlined the importance of industry for the maintenance of economic stability and resilience, in developed as well as in developing countries, and expressed his full support for the Director General's new vision. The possibility of Spain supporting the inclusion of a clear mandate for industrial development in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) framework was also raised, and it was agreed that Spain and UNIDO would explore all avenues to strengthen their cooperation. The UNIDO delegation also expressed its appreciation to the Government of Spain for having delegated José-Miguel Cortés as Counsellor at Spain’s Office of Economic and Commercial Affairs in Vienna.
During the breakfast meeting, hosted by Arcadio Gutiérrez Zapico, Director General of the SPC, LI Yong explained his new vision of inclusive and sustainable industrial development and emphasized the need for strengthening strategic partnerships between UNIDO and Spanish energy companies. He encouraged them to act as technology providers, give expert advice and help in building the capacities of national institutions and experts in developing countries. They were joined in the meeting by over 16 large and medium energy companies working in the field of power generation, renewable energy and energy efficiency in Spain.
The SPC’s Zapico expressed strong interest on the part of Spanish energy companies in getting more closely involved in the technical cooperation projects implemented by UNIDO. There was agreement on a proposal to arrange a visit of select Spanish energy companies to the UNIDO headquarters in Vienna for detailed discussions in the first quarter of 2014.
At another meeting, held at the office of the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDEA), Marisa Olano, the Institute’s Director of International Relations, and her colleagues made a brief presentation of their work in the field of industrial energy efficiency and renewable energy, and provided an overview of financing of energy projects.
The UNIDO Director General commended the excellent work being done by IDAE, and explained his vision of inclusive and sustainable industrial development where energy and resource efficiency will play a very important role in developing countries. It was agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding between UNIDO and IDAE to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations.