The Andalusian Association of Marble Entrepreneurs (AEMA), has celebrated this Friday, 10th November, the thirty-sixth edition of the awards, whose stage was attended by the President of the Andalusian Parliament, Jesús Aguirre, and the Regional Minister of Sustainability, Environment and Blue Economy, Ramón Fernández-Pacheco.
It has become a world reference event to honour professionals in the fields of architecture, design, interior design and construction, whose works have demonstrated their excellence in the use of natural stone and innovative surfaces, transforming the architectural and design landscape at a global level. The Macael Awards gala, which celebrated its thirty-sixth edition this Friday, 10th November, also reaffirmed the fundamental role of sustainability and innovation as fundamental pillars in the industry.
The event, which brought together more than 530 guests, was attended by the President of the Andalusian Parliament, Jesús Aguirre Muñoz and the Regional Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Blue Economy, Ramón Fernández-Pacheco, and brought together leading professionals from the business world, public administration, architects, designers and representatives of the sector. Among them, there were also 45 architecture students from the universities of Seville, Malaga and Granada, who have participated in the ‘Programme for the promotion of the stone industry and innovative surfaces’, an initiative that is in its second edition and that aims to train future architects in the importance of the use of these materials in architecture. They were joined by agents from different countries such as the United States, Colombia, France, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, prescribers who have taken part in the XII International Stone Meeting, organised by TRADE.
The gala was the framework for important statements by the president of AEMA, Jesús Posadas, who highlighted the progress and achievements made in recent years, thanking the support of the administrations, but also pointed out the need for pending actions. He stressed the importance of the continuity in the construction of the dual carriageway from Fines to Baza, as well as the completion of the Mediterranean Corridor by 2026. He highlighted a significant milestone: the recent constitution of the OTC (Collaborating Technical Office), thanks to the agreement between the Association, the Macael Town Council and the Regional Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mines, whose prompt implementation is considered essential to address the challenges in the Sierra de Macael.
Posadas mentioned the proposal of the Order of Financial Guarantees, also in collaboration with the Regional Ministry, which is expected to be approved with the allegations presented by the Association of Marble Entrepreneurs of Andalusia. He also referred to the approval of the Plan ‘Crece Industria para la Piedra Natural’, urging its rapid implementation to support the needs of the sector.
The president, who in September renewed his mandate, announced the challenges for the next four years, including the reconstruction of the courtyard of the Castillo de los Vélez with materials of the Macael Brand and the reactivation of the Andalusian Stone Technology Centre for research and innovation, as well as dual vocational training. In terms of marketing, he stressed the need for the new Business Agency for Economic Transformation and Development (TRADE), to support SMEs in their internationalisation.
To conclude, he addressed those present with a “final thought”. “I would like to ask all our political representatives present here, regardless of their political persuasion and sphere of action, to be aware of our business support and commitment to equality among all Spaniards and among all their companies, and our firmness in defending this equality wherever necessary,” he said. “We would not like an Andalusia that is discriminated against or reduced to having to pay the concessions that are on the horizon, we do not want the fact of being an entrepreneur to be more onerous in some parts of Spain than in others. We are committed to equality and equity that seeks to maintain the same rights and opportunities”, he added.
The occasion also served to appreciate the invaluable help and collaboration of the sponsors. The president addressed them saying: “it is imperative to recognise and express our gratitude to the sponsors of this event and the great value they have in this act, not only with the collaboration with which it is possible to carry them out, but for the loyalty and continuous support edition after edition and day after day in the daily work in our companies”. This year’s gala was sponsored by COSENTINO, TORRECID, ANDALUCÍA GLOBAL, DIPUTACIÓN ALMERIA, TENAX, BRETON, CAJAMAR, OMAR, COLOROBBIA, BANCO SANTANDER, SACMI, SMALGLASS-ITACA, BBVA, UNICAJA, NICOLAI NEST, HSBC, CAIXABANK, GMM, ITALDIAMANT, BANCA MARCH, COMANDULLI, BANKINTER, VINCENT, ABANCA, SUIMASA, TBM FOCUS PIEDRA, PEDRINI, SABADELL, OLUCARPA, UAL, SECURITAS, FUNDACION BAHÍA ALMERIPORT, JAMONES TIO EMILIO.