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Secondary Sector

Information about the industrial activity in Euskal Herria.
The main industrial areas are located in Bizkaia in Greater Bilbao, in the valleys of the rivers of Gipuzkoa and in the areas around the provincial capitals of Araba and Nafarroa. In Iparralde, on the other hand, the industrial activity is mainly concentrated on the coast of the province of Lapurdi, although they have indexes of industrial activity which are notably lower than the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country and the Regional Community of Nafarroa.

The economy of the Basque Autonomous Community and de la Regional Community of Nafarroa suffered important transformations during the second half of the 20th century. Until the decade of 1970 all the Spanish economy was characterised by the autarchy, with an economy centred on the home market and strong customs barriers.

With the petrol crisis of 1975 a downturn in the markets was produced along with apathy in investment which lead to the need to turn to foreign markets. Spain’s entrance in the European Community in 1986 lead to the opening of markets and a progressive dismantling of the customs barriers.

The decade of the eighties was characterised be a strong industrial reorganisation which particularly affected the iron and steel and dockyard sectors. As a result of this, unemployment rates as high as 26% of the working population were reached. This reorganisation brought with it industrial diversification, the creation of technologically advanced companies and new ways of managing companies. There was clear backing from the Basque and Nafarroa Governments for quality, with the creation of Euskalit and the Nafarroa Foundation for Quality respectively, the adjusted production and the technological parks.

The Basque Autonomous Community has three technological parks which since 1997 have integrated one of the most consolidated networks in Europe, and have a high potential for growth. The technological parks have driven the substantial increase of the Basque R&D activity and are contributing to situating Euskadi on the path to convergence with the European Union in this field.

Innobasque, the Basque Innovation Agency, is a private non-profit association established to coordinate and promote innovation throughout the Basque Country and to encourage entrepreneurial spirit and creativity at all levels.

The Nafarroa Multidisciplinary Centre for Innovation and Technology of the Foundation CETENA, CEMITEC, is a technological centre which has the aim of contributing to improving the competitiveness of companies through the development of R&D projects, technological services and other activities to promote innovation

The evolution of research in relation to the GDP has increased at a faster rate than in Spain, reaching the figure of 1.5% in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country and 1.4% in the Regional Community of Nafarroa compared to the Spanish average of 0.95%.

In the industrial structure of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, the most important branches are: heavy machinery, machine-tool, capital goods, automobile components, aeronautics, electronics-telecommunications and steel. In Nafarroa, on the other hand, we can highlight the material for transport, machinery, domestic apparatus-electrical material, agricultural and food industry, paper and graphic arts, chemistry, rubber and plastic and energy.

More information at:

Autonomous Community of the Basque Country

Regional Community of Nafarroa