The Government closes its delegation in Argentina

The Catalan executive changes its foreign policy and urges its representatives to focus on the promotion of business and other economic issues abroad


December 28, 2011 01:51 PM

Barcelona (ACN). - The Catalan Government has decided to close its delegation in Argentina. This is the first decision that comes as a consequence of the new foreign affairs plan approved by the executive. The aim of President Artur Mas' government is to focus the task of the delegations on economic issues and the support of Catalan businesses abroad. The responsibilities of the Argentinian delegation will be now taken over by the office of Catalan economic promotion in the region, ACC1Ó.

"We need to develop an economic diplomatic corps to help our businesses in international markets", said the spokesman of the Catalan Government, Francesc Homs. The plan to change the objectives of the Catalan Government’s foreign delegations is a compromise made by the executive with the conservative People's Party (PP).

The Catalan delegations abroad were a project of the former Government, formed by the Socialists, the Left Wing Nationalists and the Greens. The delegations were considered a tool to promote Catalonia internationally, representing the Catalan government politically and supporting the tasks of the other economic and cultural offices abroad.

In exchange for its support of the 2011 budget, the new government agreed with the PP to change their foreign strategy and focus the task of the delegations primarly on economic affairs. The government has decided to close their office in Argentina, and is now urging other delegations to reduce costs –especially in rent and IT.

The main aim of the new plan is to prioritise the internationalisation of the Catalan economy and business abroad, to reduce costs, to collaborate with the Spanish state institutions abroad and to focus only on those strategically more important geographical areas for the internationalisation of Catalan companies, such as the European Union, and to increase exportation in North America, South America, Asia and Russia.

According to a Government press release, the new plan includes the foreign offices in the "austerity policy" developed in order to "reduce public spending and have the maximum efficiency in the current economic crisis". The Government wants to centralise offices as a way of avoiding to pay too much in rent and reduce IT costs, communication and administrative services. Currently, Catalonia has delegations in Brussels, London, Paris, Berlin and New York.