Since its foundation, the objective of our Association has been to support the activities of businesses in the sector and to safeguard and defend their interests in all areas, at both national and international levels.
In times of crisis such as the present, it is essential that the sector can depend on a strong Association to provide the tools and support needed to weather the storm. In this regard, the AFME has worked hard to adapt its services to the new circumstances.
At any time of economic confusion, defaults on payment become an important topic to consider. The Association, as well as continuing to offer an incidences service which collects data on the payment problems of our members, has been especially active in securing a new Law of Bad Debt and ensuring its correct implementation. Payment periods are too long in our country, and their reduction is a necessity for our economy. The PMcM (Multisectoral Platform against Bad Debt), of which our Secretary General-Manager is the treasurer, is fighting for this reduction.
Our collaboration with distribution has also been strengthened with our joint management of Plataforma Electronet since 2010. This platform provides its users with a reliable database of products and rates, as well as the opportunity to change over to electronic invoices with complete security and large savings.
Exports are helping many of our companies to compensate for the major decrease in the national market. In this regard, the AFME has seen how state aid for our Sectoral Plan has been dramatically reduced. However, we have not retreated. In fact, we are carrying out more and more activities without any aid, and we continue to seek out new services that can help to strengthen the sales of our companies in external markets.
European legislation which affects the marketing of our products is having a major impact on our sector. This is why it is so important to present and defend our position in Brussels. In order to do so, we participate in ORGALIME, a European organisation with a strong presence in the legislative activities of the European Commission.
Carlos Esteban Chairman
Purely national legislation such as the Low Voltage Electrotechnical Regulation, the Technical Building Code and the Regulation on Common Telecommunications Infrastructures also has significant effects on the national market. For this reason, the Technical Department of the Association follows this legislation closely, always seeking market opportunities for manufacturers. What is more, in recent years our Technical Department has strengthened its activities in markets with strong growth potential for our sector, such as energy efficiency, electrical vehicles and smart grids. Not forgetting the continuous work on standardisation carried out by the AENOR Standardisation Subcommittees directed by the AFME. The aim of these committees is to impose regulations for products and appliances in order to provide a level playing field for all economic operators, and to ensure fair competition in the national, European and international markets.
These are just some examples of the many activities carried out by the Association in support of the companies in the sector, in both national markets and abroad. This is an ongoing process which we will continue to adapt to the needs of our companies.
My warmest regards.