On Saturday, the Minister for Business and Knowledge, Jordi Baiget, began a trade and institutional mission to China and Hong Kong with the participation of 40 Catalan companies. The aim of the trip is to identify and generate new business opportunities in order to expand Catalan commercial presence in the region, close technological cooperation projects and promote the destination among major Chinese tourist agents. Furthermore, the mission will also promote the attraction of foreign investments from China and Hong Kong into Catalonia.
The Catalan companies participating in the mission are from the food & drink, tourism, automotive and biotechnology industries. Over the next week they will hold more than 700 meetings with associations and leading businesses in China and Hong Kong in their respective fields in order to find new partners, customers and distributors for their products and services. The mission was organized by Catalonia Trade & Investment – the Catalan Government agency for business competitiveness – and the Catalan Tourism Agency (ACT), with the participation of PRODECA, the Catalan Automotive Industry Cluster (CIAC) and Biocat. This trip will coincide in Hong Kong with a delegation from the Barcelona City Council.
Minister Baiget, accompanied by the Director General of Industry, Núria Betriu and the director of the Catalan Tourism Agency (ACT), Xavier Espasa, will visit on mainland China the Shanghai municipality and the provinces of Anhui and Jiangsu in hopes of strengthen trade and tourism relations with Catalonia. In recent years, the country has intensified institutional relations with Jiangsu and other leading provinces such as Guangdong and cities like Tianjin.
Furthermore, Catalan automotive companies will meet with major local manufacturers of vehicles, engines and components and with some of the country’s R&D centres. With regarding to the tourism, the mission includes representatives of 12 Catalan companies and organizations for which ACT has organized a special programme that includes meetings, workshops and networking sessions with Chinese companies and institutions.
Business opportunities in China
Catalan exports to China grew by 9% in 2016, reaching 1.3 billion euros. There are currently more than 5,100 Catalan companies exporting mainly meat, pharmaceuticals and electrical-appliances. In fact, 26% of Spain’s sales in China come from Catalan exports.
Catalonia and Hong Kong
Last year, Catalan sales to Hong Kong reached 292 million euros in turnover, an increase of more than 16% compared to the previous year. This includes meat exports, chemicals and cosmetics from the 2,690 Catalan companies currently exporting to the region. Of all sales in Hong Kong from Spain, 30% correspond to exports from Catalan companies.