The world faces unprecedented challenges that inevitably require transnational solutions and structural changes in public and private organizations. Let us think, for example, of the energy transition, the fight against climate change, the accelerated digitalization of society, recent armed conflicts or the convulsive demographic changes in continents as close as Africa.
This is an environment with new key players and changing international leadership that fully impacts the fundamental variables of economic-financial activity: risk management and the identification of investment opportunities.
In this difficult context, international financial institutions, as well as national financial development systems, must reorient their operations with the ultimate goal of continuing to fulfill their main public policy mandate, by guaranteeing the private sector access to the best financing for the creation of quality jobs. Likewise, financial institutions are increasingly seeking to respond to other objectives considered global public goods, such as the fight against climate change and its effects, global health or food security.
As I had the opportunity to discuss recently at the Finance Forum organized by Elkargi in Vitoria, common interests also arise from global challenges that also affect the diverse range of key players on the international scene (institutional investors, development financial institutions, multilateral banks or sovereign funds). This explains the need to strengthen collaboration with the most relevant financial actors at all geographic levels (autonomous, national, European and global) to effectively and efficiently reach the greatest number of companies in the most coordinated way possible .
In the case of the Basque Country, institutions such as COFIDES have been working for years in coordination with regional institutions and their thriving business network. We have been able to provide financial solutions that have supported the internationalization of numerous Basque companies in the most varied sectors, to the point of becoming the second Autonomous Community with the largest volume of financing received. We have also been present at key moments such as the pandemic, through a fund aimed at strengthening the solvency of Basque mid-sized companies, guaranteeing more than 5,000 jobs throughout the Basque territory.
More recently, the international transformation underway in the background and the evolution of the dynamics of investments and trade have led us to further broaden the range of business support instruments, by supporting, in addition to internationalization, the attraction to our country of foreign investments in strategic sectors. sectors of the future – through the management of the Co-Investment Fund (FOCO) – and the consolidation of the Spanish social and environmental impact ecosystem – with the Social Impact Fund (FIS).
Following this development, with more than 5,000 million euros of assets under management, COFIDES has consolidated itself as the benchmark manager of state funds specializing in financial support to the private sector with a triple multi-country approach. , multi-product. and multi-services – with the aspiration to respond and play a leadership role in the face of the changing challenges of the Spanish economy and with particular emphasis on business internationalization, solvency support, sustainability financing and social and environmental impact and improving the competitiveness of businesses.
Sustainability, understood in the broad sense and in all its aspects (environmental, social and governance), is present in COFIDES in each of its dimensions in a transversal manner: in terms of corporate governance, corporate strategy, management of risks and impact measures.
At the international level, our activity consists of financially supporting the internationalization of the Spanish company. In close collaboration with AECID, we contribute to forming the architecture of Spanish financial cooperation, identifying, structuring and “monitoring” numerous investment projects in emerging and developing countries.
At the national level, the main objective is to promote the modernization and competitiveness of the Spanish productive model through minority investments in the capital of Spanish companies, under a co-investment regime, to attract foreign investments towards economic activities that promote green and digital. transition of the Spanish economy.
Finally, we also seek to strengthen the Spanish ecosystem of impact investment and social and environmental entrepreneurship, an employment-intensive sector that structures the pillars of the welfare state through market solutions .
At COFIDES, we consider it essential to optimize the public-private relationship in order, with public resources, to mobilize and mobilize private resources, consistent with the same strategy carried out by the European Union in recent years (Juncker Plan , Next Generation EU), sometimes providing financing and others through “de-risking” investment operations. And we want to do it, moreover, by reaching the entire territory through collaboration with the main economic and financial players with a presence and knowledge of the economic fabric of each community.
The major global challenges require agile public financial institutions to meet the changing requirements of tomorrow’s private sector (globalized, sustainable and digital) and as close as possible to citizens.