- The head of the Catalan Government and Minister Serret are holding a series of political meetings in Bogotá on the second day of their institutional trip to Latin America
event_note Press Release
The President of the Government of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès, announced today in Bogotá that procedures are under way to create a Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to Colombia, with the aim of "consolidating the relationship between the two countries, already very close in many aspects, through an active institutional presence, and to further expand the scope of Catalan foreign action in Latin America". "It is vital for Catalonia to explain itself to the world, to defend its economic, social, cultural, environmental and political interests", he said.
The President made this announcement in statements to the media in the Colombian capital, where yesterday he began a tour of Latin America accompanied by the Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret, during which he will also visit Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. The second day of the trip will focus on political contacts in Bogotá.
Pere Aragonès stressed that the relationship between Colombia and Catalonia "is historical, going back many centuries", and said that "today this is reflected in the presence of 7,000 citizens of Catalonia in Colombia and 55,000 citizens of Colombia living in Catalonia". He also emphasized that "it is the third-largest economy in Latin America as a whole and has a strategic role in terms of the Pacific and the Caribbean".
Catalonia's presence in the Americas
The Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to Colombia will be the fifth office for the institutional representation of the Government of Catalonia in the Americas, in addition to the delegations to the United States and Canada; to Mexico and Central America; to the Southern Cone, whose headquarters the President will inaugurate this Friday in Buenos Aires; and to Brazil, the delegate of which is expected to be appointed this March.
In this respect, President Aragonès stressed that the Delegation to Colombia "will cover the entire South American continent and is another example of the Government of Catalonia's desire to position itself as an active stakeholder in the international community and, above all, to strengthen ties with societies and governments around the world to better defend Catalonia's economic, cultural, social, environmental and political interests".
For her part, Minister Serret framed the creation of this delegation "within the strategy and calling to be useful not only for Catalonia's interests, but also for the mutually beneficial relations that we maintain with Colombia". Moreover, she insisted that Catalonia's institutional representation in Bogotá "will make it possible to further strengthen Catalonia's presence and reputation throughout the Americas". Serret explained that this announcement marks the beginning of the steps to approve the decree for the creation of this new Delegation, which will kick-start the process of selecting a delegate and the necessary procedures to make it fully operational, such as the location of a physical headquarters and the hiring of staff.
The new Delegation to Colombia will complement and reinforce the work that ACCIÓ's office in Bogotá has been doing since 2012. Colombia is the fourth-largest economy in South America and Catalan exports to Colombia reached a record high in 2021 (360 million euros), 54% more than the previous year. Moreover, Catalonia accounts for 31% of Spanish imports into Colombia and almost 10% of Colombian investments in the country.
Deployment of the network of delegations
With the new Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to Colombia, the network of offices abroad continues its deployment to include 21 delegations. Of the 20 delegations the Government of Catalonia currently has abroad, 13 are fully operational, 5 are partially operational (i.e., they have a delegate but are pending other steps) and 2 have been created by Decree and are in the process of being set up, as is the case of Brazil and Andorra. In the latter case, the Catalan Government plans to appoint the delegates this month.
A further step in this direction will be taken this week with the inauguration of the headquarters of the Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to the Southern Cone in Buenos Aires. It will be the first on-site opening of a delegation by President Aragonès.