New Trade and Investment offices to be opened by Catalan Government in Belgrade, Tehran, Accra, Lima and Tel Aviv
"Between 2015 and 2016 the Catalan Government will open new Trade & Investment offices in Belgrade, Tehran, Accra, Tel Aviv and Lima and enlarge its San Francisco-based one", Catalan Business Minister, Felip Puig, announced on Monday. Similarly, the Catalan Executive recently launched a new 'technological antenna' in Boston (Massachusetts) and will soon do the same in Panama, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Senegal and Angola, enlarging its network of business promotion offices abroad. The Minister said that in 2014, Catalan companies exported more than 51% of the Catalan Gross Domestic Product and the Executive is set on further enhancing their internationalisation. "Official data seem to confirm that companies with a stronger global presence suffered the economic crisis less and the Government wants to support them", he concluded.
Barcelona (ACN).- "Between 2015 and 2016 the Catalan Government will open new Trade & Investment offices in Belgrade, Tehran, Accra, Tel Aviv and Lima and enlarge its San Francisco-based one", Catalan Business Minister, Felip Puig, announced on Monday. Similarly, the Catalan Executive recently launched a new 'technological antenna' in Boston (Massachusetts) and will soon do the same in Panama, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Senegal and Angola, enlarging its network of business promotion offices abroad. The Minister said that in 2014, Catalan companies exported more than 51% of the Catalan Gross Domestic Product and the Executive is set on further enhancing their internationalisation. "Promoting our companies' global presence plays a key role in fostering the economic growth and overcoming the crisis. The increase in foreign sales and foreign investment in Catalonia allows the Catalan economy to achieve higher levels of competitiveness", Puig said. "Internationalisation represents a structural medium- and long-term strategy and as a Government we want to support it", he concluded.
Catalonia currently has a network of 35 Trade & Investment offices around the world which belong to ACCIÓ, the Catalan Government's Agency for Business Competitiveness. ACCIÓ’s different programmes aim to promote innovation, internationalisation and investment in Catalonia and throughout the world. They help Catalan companies to reach new markets on one hand and, on the other hand, they attract investments from foreign companies to the Catalan market. The recently opened technological antenna based in Boston will support the activity of the Trade & Investment New York office, aiming to promote cooperation between Catalan and American companies in R&D and innovation.
More than 3,000 Catalan companies with subsidiaries abroad
During Monday’s press conference, Puig recalled that Catalonia exports more than 51% of its Gross Domestic Product (adding together sales in Spain and the rest of the world) and is "one of the most open economies in Europe", with more than €102 billion in sales registered outside the Catalan market.
"Exports are beating all records in recent years. There are more than 16,000 companies that sell abroad on a continuous basis and this figure is increasing", Puig said. According to official data from the Catalan Ministry for Business and Employment, 3,150 Catalan companies are currently established abroad - in 131 countries, where they have already opened 8,346 subsidiaries.
The Catalan Government's offices channelled up to 15% of Catalan investment abroad
According to the Catalan Minister's estimates, ACCIÓ's offices channelled between 10% and 15% of the Catalan investment that flows abroad. Puig expressed regret regarding the "uncertainty" currently affecting the BRIC countries' economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China), but stressed that Catalan companies continue to search for new markets to export to, with the Government's industrial policy being aimed at boosting the most competitive sectors of the Catalan economy, he said. Apart from nearby markets like Portugal and France, Catalan companies also boast a strong presence in the US, Mexico and Brazil.
With the opening of the new offices, the Catalan Government aims to "keep promoting" its already established worldwide network. "We will continue to promote the internationalisation of the Catalan economy", Puig said, adding that the Executive is exploring the possibility of opening a trade delegation in Cuba as well. Finally, asked about the potential obstacles that the Spanish Government may put in place to impede the expansion of this trade network, the Catalan Minister did not go into details, but said that the Catalan Government is already "immunised" against these kinds of attempts.
Besides ACCIÓ offices, the Catalan Government has 2 other types of offices worldwide
Besides ACCIÓ offices (currently 35 offices covering some 80 markets worldwide), the Catalan Government has two other types of offices abroad: those of the Institut Ramon Llull (IRL), aimed at promoting Catalan culture and language, and the Catalan Government delegations, which play a political and advocacy role and provide support to the other two types of offices. Currently, there are 7 Catalan Government political delegations abroad. In many cases, the IRL, the political delegation and the ACCIÓ branch share the same building.