Eloy García has completed one year as President and Faces of Conxemar To the exhibition this year after twelve months of intense work and with regret we have to say “there is no room” For companies and institutions that were excluded again. The exhibition celebrates its silver anniversary next year.
What new countries will be in Kunximar this year?
Such as Al Akhbar, the United Arab Emirates, Gabon, and Uganda. We have more than one hundred countries. If you start thinking in countries, getting to 100 is not easy, you have to go to the atlas. Netherlands and Turkey debut as national pavilions. There are more than 700 exhibitors.
From companies, what can we find that will catch our attention?
There will be a cook, for example. Does it catch your attention?
Yes. And get to the first day of the exhibition? How did you work to make it more flexible?
We are very worried, because we are facing the same problems. From Conxemar, we are working with Ifevi on solutions that include new traffic regulation. We also rented a couple of floors in the airport parking lot, and there are thousands of free spots. We have doubled the number of shuttle buses we run from hotels and will take them around Moss. The effort is tremendous from everyone, including Udasa, the airport, and the state security forces and bodies. I am glad that there is a general awareness, also from the city council and Xunta, that we are all in the same boat.
Can the impact be measured?
We have requested an economic impact report. Visitors know what’s there. Last year there were 26,060. We asked Ardan, from Zona Franca, to report on the economic impact this is having on Vigo and its region. There is a tangible part, because if 26 thousand visitors each spend a thousand euros, it means 26 million euros. On the other hand, there is something intangible, because we attend the United Nations. The Food and Agriculture Organization is the United Nations organization dedicated to agriculture and food and comes to Vigo and we hold a big conference on the 2nd, and on the 3rd, 4th and 5th we hold the 2nd World Exhibition of the Frozen Sector in Vigo. That week, Vigo became the fishing capital of the world and it appears in all the media, even international ones. This presence has an economic meaning. We hope that the institutions will understand that supporting Conximar is not only necessary, but also a very good deal for Vigo, its region and for Galicia.
How much additional space does Conxemar urgently need?
If we had an extra 5,000 or 6,000 meters at this moment, we would fill it. We are very sad to say no to so many visitors, exhibitors and companies who wanted to come to Vigo. Nothing fits anymore. We know that this is not solved in a day or two.
Especially with the competition from Barcelona.
With global competition. This is a very strong league with many cities wanting to play and there is a lot of interest in holding this exhibition. Our association is a national association. It is based in Vigo, but 58% of the partners are not Galician. The pressure is strong. There are cities knocking on the door every day.
Madrid for example?
For example Madrid. Our call is to continue here. We will exhaust all possibilities, but there are things that elude us and above all it is a matter of time. In the best case scenario, if we start today we will have space available within three years.
The first year at the helm of Kunximar, how did you see it?
Very intense. We have done a lot of things and what we will do. A strategic plan for the next three years has been approved, and we have a road map.
Because Conxemar is not just an exhibition. It’s more.
Conxemar is a national association of 230 companies with 17,000 employees and a turnover of €9,000 million, approximately 1% of Spain’s GDP. Our primary mission is to be present in decision-making bodies that may affect our activity. By the way, next year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of its founding, and the Food and Agriculture Organization will present the Sophia Report, which is presented every two years and attended by figures from the highest levels of global politics.
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