During the presentation of Catalonia’s International Action Plan by the Catalan Chambers of Commerce, President Artur Mas highlighted the necessity for the country to lead its own internationalization process as he called for an “intensification and not a restriction” regarding the efforts to increase international trade. Mas urged the relevant industries to “take the lead” and affirmed that “Catalonia knows how to project itself internationally; now we must do it more and we must do it better”.
The Plan, which is based on an analysis of the current economic situation both in Catalonia and throughout the rest world, was presented in Barcelona by the Catalan Chamber of Commerce to support businesses and help position them in different markets. The International Action Plan outlines 51 operations in 91 different countries, with a special focus on African and Middle Eastern countries, to increase the amount of businesses exporting their products or services abroad while promoting Catalan products, diversifying and consolidating market sectors, as well as strengthening the Chambers’ networks.
During his intervention, President Mas emphasized that one of the Catalan economy’s greatest accomplishments of the last three decades has been its proven ability “to open up to new markets”, demonstrated by it capacity to shift one of its most important markets overseas.
With regard to Catalonia’s external action policy, Mas suggested to “overlook Spain’s absurd controversies” which denounce the Generalitat’s intention to have its own external policy. “Catalonia must prioritize its own internationalization process because no other entity is more familiar with the Catalan businesses” asserted Mas.
During his speech, the President commended the efforts made by Catalan companies to diversify their businesses and go beyond European markets. Mas recognized that the change in the country’s economy can be directly attributed to the conduct carried out by Catalan businesses, professionals and Catalonia’s workforce, together with the assistance of the Catalan Chambers of Commerce, exportation associations as well as the Government of Catalonia.
The President also addressed representatives of the Catalan Chambers of Commerce and made reference to the improvement in the country’s economy. The economic recovery is progressing “better than is thought”, revealed the Chief Executive, asserting that, in terms of trade and industrial productivity, Catalonia has exceeded the euro zone, in spite of the economic crisis. According to the President, this shows that Catalonia is “functioning as a dynamic and competitive economy” with exports levels equaling countries like Germany or France.
Other important figures taking part in the day’s event included the Minister for Business and Labour, Felip Puig; Miquel Valls, president of the Council of Chambers of Commerce; Joan Ramon Rovira, director of the Economic Studies Cabinet for Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce; Isaac Sanromà, president of the Internationalization Commission in the Chamber of Commerce Council; and Pau Relat, the president of the Internationalization Commission in Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce. The event also involved a presentation and analysis on Catalan trade as the principal force driving the economic recovery.