The Government of Catalonia and the Government of the Province of Buenos Aires have signed a memorandum of understanding to deepen collaboration in areas of mutual interest. The President of the Government of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès, and the governor of the province, Axel Kicillof, made the agreement official at a signing ceremony held on Thursday at the provincial government headquarters in La Plata. "For Catalonia, with this agreement, the province of Buenos Aires becomes a gateway to Latin America", said President Aragonès. The agreement will strengthen cooperation between the two territories and lay the foundations for building a stable and lasting relationship over time.
Aragonès explained that it is a cooperation agreement "in very diverse fields, such as scientific research, industrial production, ports, culture and social policies". He pointed out that Catalonia and Buenos Aires have a similar productive structure. "They are two territories with a clear foot in industry, that exhibit leadership and international openness, and which have many possibilities for the future", said the President. "At a time of changes in the global economy, it is very important to strengthen this cooperation between territories like ours", he remarked.
In the same vein, Governor Kicillof stated that "this agreement is a first fundamental step to work in the areas of interest that we consider important based on the similar productive profiles that we share". After the bilateral meeting with President Aragonès, the governor stated that "we have had in-depth and relevant conversations on issues on the agenda, both for Catalonia and for the province". He added that "we consider the step taken with this agreement to work on cooperation in the future, in very relevant areas of our province, to be very important".
For the Government of Catalonia, the agreement signed today is an example of the type of collaboration it wants to establish with Latin American actors: consolidating existing historical ties and providing them with a stable, lasting and fruitful framework. In this sense, Pere Aragonès stated that the Catalan Government's desire for the future is to "continue implementing the agreement and strengthening the level of relations" between the two territories, which have "a shared history that goes back a long time".
President Aragonès also mentioned tomorrow's inauguration of the new Delegation of The Government of Catalonia to the Southern Cone, which will be based in Buenos Aires and will represent Catalonia in Argentina as well as in Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay.
The agreement, which will serve as an umbrella for future projects, envisages fostering collaboration in areas such as vocational training, cultural industries, Industry 4.0 and science, technology, research and innovation, among others. There is also a plan to set up a joint committee as a permanent forum for cooperation, which will meet every two years. The agreement is valid for four years and will be automatically renewed for a maximum of two more two-year periods.
The Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret; the Secretary for the Government’s Foreign Action, Miquel Royo, and the Delegate of the Government of Catalonia to the Southern Cone, Josep Vives, also attended the event.
Buenos Aires, a strategic province in the region
With this agreement, which comes after three years of talks between the two governments, Catalonia consolidates a framework of stable relations with Buenos Aires, a strategic actor in Argentina. The province, whose capital is La Plata, produces a third of Argentina's total GDP, is the largest and most populous in the country. It also borders the city of Buenos Aires, the second most economically important region in the country, and together they account for more than half of Argentina's GDP.