EUSKO JAURLARITZA - BASQUE GOVERNMENT | Minister for Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport


Minister for Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport
Iñaki Arriola

1. What does it mean for Euskadi to have an important network of logistic infrastructure, among which are the ports of  Bilbao, Pasaia and Bermeo?
In a globalised world competing for tight profit margins, the logistics sector is strategic, and a significant part of our productive fabric in different sectors depends on its health. Numerous businesses depend directly on robust logistics; in short, the economy in general depends on it. 
In the Infrastructures and Transport sector of the Basque Government, we are committed to strengthening Euskadi as a benchmark logistic hub without compromising on the transition of the sector towards a more sustainable and digitised social and environmental model. We are reinforcing aid and constantly investing to improve railway infrastructures to strengthen intermodality in the port area. 
This is essential for the sector to have a modern and adequate network responding to current needs and which also enables the reduction of our carbon footprint. 

2. The logistics community stresses that logistics begins with product design and ends with its transport. How do you see it, Minister?
I agree with that idea and think that through that approach, it is possible to achieve substantial improvements in terms of logistic intelligence, efficacy and efficiency. 
Regarding our Department, we have increased the amount of aid to the sector and promoted assistance in digitization within the framework of the Next Generation EU fund to contribute to this. 
We are also working decidedly to establish the foundations enabling the logistics network to move goods efficiently and rapidly, with the least environmental and health costs. 
In this case, the key element has been public-private collaboration with different companies, some linked to the port sector, who have committed to sustainable mobility to reduce their environmental impact. 

3. Port of Bilbao clients need good intermodality, good road and rail accessibility. In this respect, what actions are being carried out to improve this, and what are the timelines?
The Basque Government is responsible for developing the autonomic railway network regarding the construction of infrastructures. We are working hard on developing the Southern Railway Line and the tendering for the four construction projects of phase 1 has been issued. At the same time, the informative study of phase 2 is being drawn up, a project to offer full service to the port of Bilbao logistics activities. We are putting all our effort into developing this project.
We are also implementing a project we consider vital for developing the port logistics sector: the inclusion of the port of Pasaia in the network. While at the same time developing an innovative regulatory framework and planning regarding transport sustainability that enables progress for everyone to create an efficient and effective, efficient and environmentally sustainable system.

4. In Euskadi and its hinterland, many factories specialised in engineering and extra-large cargo require complex and specialised transport. What improvements are possible to simplify operations from the point of view of interoperability?
From the competencies of our Department, we strive to enlarge and improve the railway network to offer full service to the ports in the Basque Country, especially the Port of Bilbao, due to its volume.
Moreover, through clusters, we work to accompany them in everything they need from the administration and encourage them to have adequate resources to develop their activity. We also offer a series of specific aids for companies and associations to improve their actions, refined year after year in content and monetary amount (which we have doubled in this legislature), so the administration can respond better to the situational needs of the sector.

5. How does the future Basque Sustainable Mobility Law contemplate ports and their associated intermodality?
The draft legislation on Sustainable Mobility, which we expect the Parliament to approve this year, integrates into its articles and reasoning the promotion of intermodality as one of the keys to strengthening sustainable mobility, especially highlighting the movement of goods in Euskadi. 
The logistics sector, its needs and challenges have been considered when creating up this draft legislation, and the Sustainable Mobility Plan for Euskadi, which our Department is drawing up, has the close collaboration of the entire private sector–including UNIPORT- to define its contents. This is another example of public-private collaboration to progress more effectively.

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