Martín made these statements in relation to the first edition of the INTERNATIONAL CONSTRUCTION WEEK organised by IFEMA and due to take place between 8–11 May at the Feria de Madrid trade fair centre. It will be headed up by three events that are a fixture on the Madrid trade fair calendar: CONSTRUTEC, the International Building Exhibition; VETECO, the International Window, Curtain Walls and Structural Glass Trade Show, and PIEDRA, the International Natural Stone Trade Fair. ASEFAVE is, in fact, the manufacturers' association which has always supported VETECO, the leading trade fair for the Spanish window, curtain wall and structural glass industry.
Martín stated that, faced with a situation as difficult as the current one, the sector was “turning to refurbishments, supported by the subsidy-backed window renovation plan (Plan Renove), and to internationalisation, by searching for foreign markets that are viable either due to their geographical or cultural proximity or due to good business prospects”. He also stated that there was an on-going commitment to the research and development of products with greater benefits for installers and users.
The head of ASEFAVE claimed that the crisis had worsened even further in the first weeks of 2012, if that were possible. And he suggested that the sector faces three significant problems: paucity of demand, lack of credit for businesses and uncertainty as to collection of payments.
Turning to demand, he called attention to data from the Spanish Ministry of Public Works, according to which the situation changed from the peak of greatest number of construction permits for new homes in 2006 (some 911,568), to ending 2011 with a total number of that same type of permit of 78,286.
He added that equally worrying was the issue of the average period for paying suppliers, which for the construction industry was 285 days in 2010, according to the Bank of Spain. “Combined with the lack of liquidity in financing, this means that many firms with orders still on their books cannot complete them”, he stated.
However, and despite all this, the head of the Spanish Association of Window and Curtain Wall Manufacturers, ASEFAVE, affirmed that “there are still business opportunities, here and abroad, for those who want to seek them out”. The holding of the first INTERNATIONAL CONSTRUCTION WEEK demonstrates IFEMA's clear commitment to the construction sector. The project specifically aims to create an effective platform for promotion and communication, to help boost the industries involved at an especially crucial time, given the current backdrop.