Mafex holds its first annual Forum dedicated to the potential of the Australian railway market

THE SPANISH RAILWAY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION HAS HELD THE FIRST OF THE FORUMS THAT WILL BE LAUNCHED THIS YEAR WITH THE AIM OF SERVING AS KEY MECHANISMS FOR SECTOR REVITALISATION, AND WHICH ARE EMERGING AS A MEETING PLACE BETWEEN THE ORGANISATIONS THAT MAKE UP THE VALUE CHAIN OF THE RAILWAY SECTOR. ON THIS OCCASION, IT HAS BEEN FOCUSED ON INTERNATIONAL MARKETS AND, IN PARTICULAR, IN AUSTRALIA.

In the morning of 10th February, the General Director of Mafex, the Spanish Railway Industry Association, Pedro Fortea, opened the first of the Forums that the Association will be launching this year. On this occasion, it was focused on international markets, and, in Australia. Fortea stressed the importance of forums where companies, operators and authorities have a place, since they will address concerns of the sector such as digitalisation or sustainability, among others.

The day was structured in several blocks. In the first of them, Camilo García presented the report “FocusOn” Australia and Elena Laburu Baza, Investment Director of the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) presented the development opportunities that the country has. In addition, she stressed the stability of investments in railway infrastructure given the congestion problems presented by its main cities and the projected population growth. The next block had the participation of two Mafex partner companies. Specifically, Iñaki Mendizabal, Australia & Nueva Zealand Area Director of CAF – Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, and Carlos López Gutiérrez, Head of Transportation Business Unit SICE, have shared their experience in the country emphasising the importance of identifying and knowing well the objectives to be addressed to offer value-added products and services that are appropriate when positioning themselves as the best option. To end the session, the Ambassador of Australia in Spain, Sophia McIntyre, highlighted the good relations between Australia and Europe, which will be strengthened when the current negotiations of the Free Trade Agreement between both parties are completed. This interest and commitment of the railway industry to the aforementioned market has been reflected in the participation of more than 50 representatives of companies in the sector.

The Federal Government has committed to carry out a significant investment in infrastructure projects in the period from 2019-2020 to 2029-2030, which translates into 100 billion AUD (€ 62,7 billion), under the Infrastructure Investment Programme. In total, it is estimated that 20% of the investment will go to railway infrastructure with the aim of reducing congestion in cities, promoting growth in different regions, and creating thousands of new jobs.