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1st China Construction Bank branch in Spain opens in Barcelona; trade deal with Fujian signed

The month of July started with the strengthening of Catalonia's business and economic relations with China. On Wednesday, China Construction Bank Corporation (CCB) - the second largest bank in the world by market capitalisation (207.9 billion U.S. dollars) - opened its first Spanish branch in the Catalan capital with an official ceremony at the Palace of Pedralbes. The same day, the Catalan Government signed an agreement with the Chinese Province of Fujian, aimed at expanding export opportunities for Catalan agricultural products and promoting the exchange of market and legal information between the two partners.

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03 July 2015 08:47 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The month of July started with the strengthening of Catalonia's business and economic relations with China. On Wednesday, China Construction Bank Corporation (CCB) - the second largest bank in the world by market capitalisation (207.9 billion U.S. dollars) - opened its first Spanish branch in the Catalan capital with an official ceremony at the Palace of Pedralbes. The same day, the Catalan Government signed an agreement with the Chinese Province of Fujian, aimed at expanding export opportunities for Catalan agricultural products and promoting the exchange of market and legal information between the two partners.  

 


The China Construction Bank Corporation is the second largest bank in the People's Republic of China and has more than 14,800 branches across the world, especially in important capitals of the global economy such as Singapore, Tokyo, New York and London. This week, the first Spanish branch was set up in Barcelona, with an official opening ceremony headed by the Catalan Ministry of Economy and Knowledge, Andreu Mas-Colell, and the Chairman of CCB's board of supervisors, Guo You. In a speech held during the event, Guo You said Spain represents a key connection in the bank's international strategy in southern Europe, also highlighting that China is Spain's most important trading partner outside the EU.

Barcelona's branch will support both Chinese and local businesses 

According to Guo You, CCB aims at reinforcing trade cooperation between Spain and China, and also contributing to the former's economic development. Barcelona's branch will support both Chinese businesses working in Spain (included medium-sized enterprises) and local businesses, especially those with a connection to China.

After about 60 years of activity, CCB operates its businesses in domestic and overseas markets, covering 18 countries and regions. Speaking to ACN, the Catalan Minister Mas-Colell stressed the global dimension of the Chinese bank, highlighting especially the fact that this financial institution has chosen Barcelona to enter the Spanish market for the first time. The branch in the Catalan capital is located at 640 Avinguda Diagonal and so far has hired 20 workers.

A new agreement for the export of agricultural products was signed  

Parallel to the opening of the CCB branch in Barcelona, the new Minister for Agriculture, Jordi Ciuraneta, signed a memorandum of understanding with Jiang Shaofeng, the Director-General of Fujian Provincial Department of Agriculture. According to the MoU, the two territories will enhance their trade relations in the agri-food sector. The Catalan Minister highlighted that this initiative is part of a series of actions promoting the opening up of the Catalonia to the markets of emerging economies. "We want to open our doors to the world", said Ciuraneta. Jordi Bort, General Manager of the Catalan Institute of Vineyards and Wine and Chief Executive Officer of PRODECA (a public company under the Department of Agriculture), also attended the event.

The Chinese delegation will explore Catalonia's food industry and research projects

The signing of the agreement is only one of a number of activities that the Chinese delegation headed by Shaofeng carries out this week in order to explore the Catalan food industry. Among other things, the Chinese delegation will visit the facilities of the Fruitcentre in Lleida (a pioneer in Europe in monitoring the post-production of fruit) and Codorniu (the world's oldest and second largest producer of traditional Catalan sparkling wine, known as cava). In both cases, it will have the opportunity to explore the research and development projects promoted by IRTA, a research institute owned by the Government of Catalonia and assigned to the Department of Agriculture.

China is among Catalonia’s top 15 agri-food export destinations

The Chinese delegation's visit was organised in the framework of a plan developed by the Catalan public company PRODECA, which aims at enhancing the trade of Catalan agri-food products to the Asian market. According to its website, China is among Catalonia’s top 15 agri-food export destinations, followed by France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and the UK, and the 5th most important target market outside the European Union. Economic data concerning the food industry show that worldwide spending on food and beverages in 2013 stood at 5,326,564.20 million, with China representing 13.06% of the total and the biggest world market for agri-food products, closely followed by the USA (12%).

 

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  • The Catalan Minister of Economy and Knowledge, Andreu Mas-Colell, and the Chairman of CCB's board of supervisors, Guo You (by ACN)

  • The Catalan Minister of Economy and Knowledge, Andreu Mas-Colell, and the Chairman of CCB's board of supervisors, Guo You (by ACN)