The president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, said this afternoon: “Catalonia is prepared and ready to host the MWC.” The president made the statement after welcoming the top managers of GSMA, headed by CEO John Hoffman and general manager Helene Jamaa, at the Palau de la Generalitat. GSMA is the company in charge of organising the event. The meeting was also attended by the Minister of the Presidency, Elsa Artadi; the Minister for Digital Policy, Jordi Puigneró; and the Minister of Business and Knowledge, Àngels Chacón.
The Mobile World Congress will run from 25 to 28 February in Barcelona. This year’s MWC is the 14th edition of the event, which has become the foremost Catalan trade fair and the world’s main exhibition for the sector. The company that organises this meeting of the mobile telephony sector has decided to continue holding the event in Catalonia until 2023.
After the meeting at the Palau, Minister Artadi said: “There’s no reason for us to worry about the Mobile World Congress leaving Barcelona” because “their project is a long-term one in Catalonia.” According to the Catalan government spokesperson, they discussed “projects for the future and synergies with other events and sectors of Catalan society that the MWC hasn’t had as much of a relationship with in the past, particularly the service industry”.
In a report entitled European Regions and Cities of the Future, the Financial Times Group has recognised Catalonia as the best region in southern Europe in which to invest in 2018 and 2019. The report also praises Catalonia for having the best strategy for attracting foreign investment among European regions with a population of over four million. In total, there are 8,642 foreign companies established in Catalonia, and over a thousand are technology companies. The vitality of the Catalan economy is reflected in a growth rate higher than the EU average. In 2017, Catalonia’s GDP grew by 3.4%, a rate above the average for Spain (3.0%), the EU (2.4%) and the eurozone (2.4%). The region has experienced uninterrupted growth for four years running. This trend was maintained in 2018, with 2.7% growth in the third quarter, higher than the average for Spain (2.5%) and the eurozone (1.7%).