Carles Llorens: "We need a development that balances the entire territory"

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Within the framework of the V Local Economic Development Forum, Carles Llorens from the United Regions Organizations ORU Fogar gave an interview to advance several points that will be developed in the event that arrives in Córdoba from ADEC from May 26 to May 1. June.

Carles llorens He is secretary general of the United Regions Organizations ORU Fogar and will be in charge of developing thematic line 1: "The territory as a basis for innovation and economic, social and environmental reactivation".

Llorens made reference to the importance of having strong local and regional governments, strengths and weaknesses, and the needs for the future.

- What is the importance of the territorial factor in the current situation of the pandemic?

- Carles Llorens: We are convinced that in those countries that have a balanced governance, with an important weight of the local and the regional, they have better dealt with the pandemic and the consequences of the pandemic.

The urban-rural balance with nodes that articulate the territory has also been fundamental. For years - in some cases, decades - centralism and economic dynamics have created countries with unviable large capital cities, at the same time as a desert territory of infrastructures, economic dynamics and human capital.

The pandemic has made it clear that this dynamic cannot continue. We need a development that balances the entire territory. For this, it is necessary to have strong local and regional governments that ensure that there are infrastructures and equipment throughout the territory. Beyond these considerations, the entire Thematic Area 1 of the Forum will deal with the role of the territory in development policies. We are working to bring the best practices there.

- What would be the three main aspects that aggravated the pandemic crisis?

- Carles Llorens: First, the pandemic has exposed the weaknesses in our health systems and public health policies. We have seen that, just in second place, there have been in many geographies problems related to food safety. And thirdly, the crisis has aggravated social and economic problems

As secretary general of the United Regions Organizations ORU Fogar, what I can tell you is that regional governments around the world have turned to solving these problems. Where there has been collaboration and understanding with central governments, the results have been good and, considering the situation, in some places, very good. Regional governments, alongside local governments, have done an incredible job serving the most disadvantaged. In many geographies, where the informal economy is key and where teleworking is impossible, it has been the municipality and the region who have faced the problem.

-… and what short or long-term measures could be applied to try to solve them?

- Carles Llorens: What steps should be taken? In the Forum we will have multiple political, academic and business representatives from all continents. It is the best opportunity to present and hear proposals. It is a great opportunity to present and learn about good practices.

Thematic line 3, organized by the ILO, will deal with the future of work. We have high expectations for this space. 

I should also point out that from ORU Fogar we have been fighting for the Forum to have a space dedicated to tourism. Never before, in the 4 preceding forums, have we dealt with tourism. An error insofar as tourism is a resource available to any city, region or territory, because whoever does not have a glacier has a desert, and whoever does not have monuments and museums has gastronomy. Tourism is, without a doubt, the sector most affected by the pandemic. It can also be a key sector for recovery. Let's talk about it all ...

We invite you to discuss this and other topics in the V World Forum of the virtual edition that will take place from May 26 to June 1, 2021, with a live streaming from Córdoba, Argentina.

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