The President of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Pere Aragonès i Garcia, this afternoon led the event for the presentation of AstraZeneca’s European R&D hub in Barcelona, which will create 1,000 jobs over the next five years. In the words of the head of the Catalan Government, “with projects such as this one by AstraZeneca, Catalonia is able to strengthen its position as the most important hub for medical sciences in southern Europe.” Moreover, as President Aragonès explained, it is “the largest foreign investment in R&D in the country’s history.”
AstraZeneca will invest €800 million over a period of five years to create 1,000 highly skilled jobs. “It is a historic investment in an area as strategic as medical research and all the resulting economic activity,” said President Aragonès, who noted that the project will bring prosperity and contribute to generating wealth and opportunities, as well as knowledge and progress for the whole of humanity. President Aragonès pointed out during his speech that, “if we are here today, it is thanks to the legacy that we have amassed, to the continuous build-up that has helped to create this great ecosystem of innovation and knowledge that makes us unique.”
Specifically, this is an area that represents almost 9% of Catalonia’s GDP and that encompasses more than 1,350 companies that provide 247,000 jobs. Moreover, Catalonia is one of the world’s leading destinations for clinical trials (9th in the world and 6th in Europe), more than half of which are related to oncology. “We have every reason to look to the future with hope,” the President added.
The head of the Catalan Government closed his speech by thanking the pharmaceutical company for “its commitment to Catalonia” and extended the Government’s hand to the Anglo-Swedish company to continue generating “new opportunities.” “This is a road on which we are still just taking the first steps. I am convinced that this strategic alliance between AstraZeneca and the Government of the Generalitat de Catalunya, and also between Catalan society and this entire ecosystem, will lead us to new opportunities and new challenges,” said the President, who added that the path travelled so far will make it possible to overcome any difficulties that may arise in the future.