Government offices in Sydney, Tokyo and Dakar approved

Catalonia set to have 18 offices in all of the world's inhabited continents

Foreign action minister, Bernat Solé, during a meeting with Catalan delegates abroad on September 29, 2020 (by Guifré Jordan)
Foreign action minister, Bernat Solé, during a meeting with Catalan delegates abroad on September 29, 2020 (by Guifré Jordan) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

October 6, 2020 02:31 PM

The Catalan government has approved the new delegations to Australia, Japan, and Senegal, with offices in Sydney, Tokyo, and Dakar respectively.

For the first time, Catalonia will have offices in all of the world's inhabited continents and the total number of offices will increase from 15 to 18.

The cabinet meeting approved their opening on Tuesday, three weeks after the ousted president, Quim Torra, announced the motion in parliament.

According to the foreign ministry, the aim of these new delegations is to strengthen Catalonia's presence in areas where it is weaker and to join efforts with international counterparts in the fight against Covid-19 as well as to reactivate the economy.

Office in Australia

Covering also New Zealand, this delegation will be Catalonia's first in Oceania. Around 3,500 Catalans live in the two countries combined, while some 1,000 Australians and New Zealanders live in Catalonia.

According to the government, there is a "great potential" to establish social and economic ties with both Australia and New Zealand, with the latter standing out for its social policies, transparency, and digital governance and the former being at the forefront of climate action, human development, and economic growth.

Office in Japan

Catalonia's first Asia-Pacific office will be located in Tokyo and will cover Japan, South Korea, and China, although establishing further economic ties with Japan, in particular, is a "priority" as it is the world's third-largest economy.

With over half of Japanese companies in Spain located in Catalonia, Catalonia is already the Spanish region that receives the largest amount of Japanese investment. Under normal circumstances, Catalonia attracts an average of 200,000 Japanese tourists per year, which is another reason why the government wishes to establish a direct flight between the Catalan and Japanese capitals.

With a new office in Tokyo, the foreign department seeks to promote cooperation in the fields of technological innovation and transfer, digital policies, and research as well as agriculture and gastronomy.  

Office in Senegal

A new office in Dakar, will cover both Senegal and Gambia, and carry out some functions in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, and Nigeria. Most Africans residing in Catalonia come from this Sub-Saharan cluster of countries – indeed, around 93% of them, or 58,184 people, are from Senegal, Ghana, Mali, and Nigeria alone.

There is also a significant presence of Catalan NGOs in Senegal and the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation (ACCD) already has a representative in the country.

The Catalan government believes there are ample investment opportunities in the region, especially in terms of infrastructure and other strategic sectors, as West Africa is experiencing higher levels of economic growth.