ONCE AGAIN, THE INDUSTRY HAS WELCOMED THIS INITIATIVE HELD ON A BIENNIAL BASIS IN A HIGHLY POSITIVE MANNER THAT BROUGHT TOGETHER DELEGATES FROM 30 COUNTRIES AND MORE THAN 120 SENIOR POSTS IN COMPANIES AND ORGANISATIONS FROM ALL OVER SPAIN.
Malaga was the chosen location of MAFEX’s “7th International Railway Convention”. A professional meeting on a global scale that has become a flagship event in the Spanish railway sector. Once again, the industry has welcomed this biennial initiative that has brought together delegates from 30 countries and more than 120 senior officials from Spanish companies and organisations.
The opening ceremony featured the president of MAFEX, Víctor Ruiz; and the Secretary General of Infrastructure of the Ministry of Public Works, Julián López Milla; the Secretary General of Infrastructure, Mobility and Land Management of Andalusian Regional Government, Andrés Gutiérrez and the Managing Director of ICEX, Javier Serra.
After welcoming all participants, Ruiz highlighted the high degree of internationalisation of the sector and its effect on society, the economy and employment. Although, he did point out that to be able to overcome these challenges “we must be equipped with the tools that allow us to put together stable and long-lasting investment plans that are not affected by political changes or economic cycles. All of the foregoing, with a clear backing for innovation and promoting internationalisation under conditions of equality and reciprocity when competing abroad.”
On behalf of the Ministry of Public Works the Secretary General of Infrastructure, Julián López Milla, valued during the opening session the vast experience and development of the Spanish railway network, particularly in terms of high-speed rail, and expressed full institutional support to the national railway industry, highlighting its knowledge, competitiveness and innovation.
The convention represented an opportunity to take the pulse of the sector and open new business opportunities abroad
Furthermore, the Secretary General explained the Ministry’s commitment to mobility, understood as a right, with an approach based on safe, connected and efficient mobility, and that places the citizen at the centre of all decision-making processes. Finally, he highlighted the important role of companies and institutions in the sector in the face of aspects such as the new safety culture and the upcoming deregulation of national passenger services in the European context, and stressed that the railroad is experiencing a historic moment driving it towards the improvement of competitiveness, in which professionals in the sector perform fundamental tasks.
During his speech, the Secretary General of Infrastructure, Mobility and Land Management of the Regional Government of Andalusia, Andrés Gutiérrez, indicated that sustainable mobility is one of the main priorities of the new Transport and Mobility Infrastructure Plan (PITMA) 2021-2027. In this programme, he explained, the railway is set to play a starring role. Among the key projects are the impulse to the metropolitan railway networks of Granada, Malaga and Seville, as well as the start-up of trams such as Alcalá de Guadaíra, Jaén and Bahía de Cadiz. Cádiz. This is coupled with coordination with other institutions to continue advancing in the field of high speed and freight transport.
In turn, the Director General of ICEX ICEX España Exportación e Inversiones, Javier Serra, placed the spotlight on the high technological capacity of Spanish companies, which stand at the fore as world leaders in railway matters. From this body, he added, highly diverse actions are carried out to identify projects and business opportunities, as well as to support companies in the international market.ior. Amongst these initiatives are seminars, trade missions,
presence in trade fairs, market studies etc. He also stressed the importance of “the close collaboration” that exists with MAFEX to help the sector in its international presence.
A wide-ranging outreach programme of technical seminars and congress sessions
As on previous occasions, the convention represented an opportunity to take the pulse of the sector and open new business opportunities abroad. All of the foregoing, in a format of technological knowledge with an extensive programme of technical seminars held by some of the participating Spanish railway companies and congress sessions carried out by international delegates. Amongst the Spanish companies that gave a presentation at the technical seminars during the days of the convention, ArcelorMittal, CAF, Ceit-Ik4, Indra Sistemas, Ingeteam Power Technology, Inse Rail, Jez Sitemas
Railways, La Farga YourCooper-Solution, Nem Solutions, Ogi Axle, Talgo Patents and Telice. All of them provided a good sample of the technological advances developed by the industry associated with MAFEX, as well as its extensive international implementation as a benchmark in R&D in large-scale and complex railway projects.
During the event, more than 550 individual meetings were held between the 50 foreign guests and the 120 representatives of the 40 Spanish companies and organisations.
Elsewhere, amongst the international organisations able to present the status of their projects during the congress sessions, were: Banedanmark (Denmark), Go Ahead (United Kingdom), HS2 (United Kingdom), New Transit Department Seoul Metro (Korea South), Transportation Master Plan Team “JTMT” (Israel) and West Midlands Metro (United Kingdom).
In parallel, during the days of the event, more than 550 individual meetings were held between the 50 foreign guests and the 120 representatives of the 40 participating Spanish companies and organisations, with the aim of bolstering commercial ties and exploring opportunities
for cooperation. The working programme also included a technical visit to Malaga Metro and a trip by AVE to Cordoba, with a tour beforehand of the Malaga María Zambrano AVE station.
In addition, after the three days of conferences in Malaga, international participants had the opportunity to move around different cities and view first-hand more centres and facilities of the main railway companies in the sector.
Extensive institutional support
The seventh edition of the event was bolstered by the collaboration of numerous institutions and agencies, to which the organisation was thankful for the unwavering support offered. Amongst them, Icex España Exportación e Inversiones, Ministry of Public Works, ADIF, RENFE, Andalusian Regional Government, Metro de Malaga and Eurif.
The companies sponsoring the event also deserve special mention: CAF and Zitron.
The convention represented an opportunity to take the pulse of the sector and open new business opportunities abroad. During the event, more than 550 individual meetings were held between the 50 foreign guests and the 120 representatives of the 40 Spanish companies and organisations.
The seventh edition of the event was widely supported by numerous institutions and organisations.