Latin America discovers the Barcelona Supercomputing Center as a benchmark research center

AZFA event photography - Mateo Valero

7 de November de 2023

  • The 26th Iberoamerican Free Zone Conference kicks off with an interesting keynote speech by Mateo Valero, director of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, as well as the World Free Zone (WFZO) Board of Directors


  • Tomorrow the conference will be officially inaugurated by Claudia Pellerano, president of AZFA; Pere Navarro, special delegate of the State in the CZFB, and Mohammed Al Zarooni, Chairman of WFZO.


Barcelona, November 7th 2023.- The Free Zone Association of the Americas (AZFA) and the Consorci de la Zona Franca de Barcelona (CZFB), with the collaboration of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Global Alliance of Special Economic Zones (GASEZ), today presented the 26th edition of the Free Zone Conference of Latin America, to be held from November 8 to 10 at DFactory Barcelona, the technology hub led and promoted by the CZFB.

Thus, for three days, more than 200 professionals, operators, public entities, investors, consultants and suppliers of the free zone industry from Latin America, Europe and Africa will meet to analyze and discuss issues related to the current situation, progress, innovations, best practices, trends and future challenges in the context of free zones.

This afternoon, the largest free zone event in the Americas kicked off with the session “Supercomputers, Artificial Intelligence, Latin America and Europe”, given by Mateo Valero, director of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center. In his speech, Valero introduced HPC computing and presented the research carried out by his team, which has been based on the RISC-V ecosystem to develop an open-source hardware platform.

“It is critical to make progress in creating programs that mimic the complex workings of the brain, as predictive power is essential for progress. In the same vein, theory and supercomputing stand as fundamental tools to address societal challenges, such as climate change and medicine,” said Valero.

Valero also highlighted that “at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center we are promoting digital twin technology, which are visual representations of what we want to know, or better understand, such as climate change. We are committed to transforming these ideas into tangible solutions for the benefit of society”. In addition, he shared his vision for the future, which encompasses innovation projects, infrastructure improvements and the growth of the community involved in this effort.

Moreover, this afternoon is also the World Free Zone (WFZO) Board of Directors meeting with the presence of the most important free zones in the world and in which the Consorci de la Zona Franca de Barcelona will act as host.


Official opening tomorrow at 9.30am

The conference program includes specialized sessions and panels that will address issues such as logistics efficiency, technologies that drive Free Trade Zones and the challenges they face about the Global Minimum Tax. In addition, there will be a “Showcase of Free Zones as agents of change”, with the collaboration of renowned international speakers such as Rafael Sayagués, Managing Partner – Tax & Law / Central America, Panama & Dominican Republic, EY CENTRAL AMERICA, Inc; Fernando Carazo, General Manager La Lima Free Zone (Costa Rica); and Andrea Serrano, General Manager Santander Free Trade Zone (Colombia), among others.

The official opening of the event will take place tomorrow at 9:30am and will be attended by Claudia Pellerano, President of AZFA; Pere Navarro, Special State Delegate to the CZFB; and Mohammed Al Zarooni, Chairman of WFZO.

The celebration will continue November 9th with the GASEZ Conference, which will be opened by Claudia Pellerano; James Zhan, Director of UNCTAD and Co-Chair of GASEZ; Samir Hamrouni, CEO of WFZO; and Blanca Sorigué, General Director of CZFB. In addition, during this day there will be two main panels focusing on initiatives to recognize model zones related to the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as emerging issues impacting the Economic Zones community.

Finally, on Friday, November 10th, conference attendees will have the opportunity to tour the Barcelona Super Computing Center, Iberdrola’s green hydrogen plant in the Zona Franca and the Logistics 4.0 Incubator.


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