- President Aragonès and Minister Serret are already in Seoul, where today they will inaugurate the Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to South Korea
event_note Press Release
The President of the Government of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès i Garcia, and the Catalan Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret i Aleu, have begun a four-day institutional trip to strengthen institutional, economic and trade relations with the Republic of Korea and to promote the Catalan Government’s institutional deployment on the Asian continent.
This was stressed by the Minister in an interview with the media on her arrival in Seoul: “The Catalan Government is taking its first steps in Asia. We are beginning a phase of deployment on the Asian continent, which is strategic for the Government of Catalonia in many areas”.
This is the first institutional visit of the President of the Catalan Government to Asia. During the current term and counting this visit, President Aragonès has made 16 trips abroad, to a total of 15 countries in Europe, North America, South America and Asia. For her part, in just 14 months, Minister Serret has made 35 trips to 23 countries.
Minister Serret, who will continue her trip with a visit to Japan, stressed that“this first trip to Asia culminates a year that has meant the return of the Catalan Government to the international front line”.
The agenda of the trip to Korea has three main focuses: the inauguration of the Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to South Korea, which is the first to open in Asia and is headed by delegate Jaeyeok Yoon Kang; the consolidation of institutional relations with South Korea through meetings at different levels, such as with the Government of Gyeonggi-do; and the promotion of economic and business links to create new opportunities between Catalonia and South Korea.
Trip to Japan
Departing Friday, the Minister for Foreign Action and European Union will link this trip with a four-day visit to Japan, to continue intensifying relations with a country in which the Catalan Government is setting up a delegation, headed since January by delegate Mònica Castellà Pujadó.
Catalan Government deployment in Asia
The Catalan Government is launching a new phase of institutional global deployment after consolidating its presence in Europe and the Americas this year.
The Catalan Government delegations in South Korea and Japan, established in 2022 and 2020 respectively, are the first in Asia. The President plans to intensify institutional relations in South Asia and Southeast Asia in the coming years, with the Seoul and Tokyo offices being the starting point for new delegations in this part of the world.
The Catalan Government currently has a network of 21 delegations providing institutional coverage in 72 countries, including all EU countries. It also has 59 commercial, tourism, cultural and development cooperation offices.
The Republic of Korea has historically been a strategic and priority country for Catalan foreign action, among other reasons, due to Korean business investment in Catalonia in the 1980s and ‘90s. It was identified as a priority country in the Strategic Plan for Foreign Action and European Union Relations 2015-2018.
Economically and commercially, Korea now ranks as Asia’s fourth-largest economy after China, India and Japan, and the world’s twelfth largest. The Agency for Business Competitiveness (ACCIÓ) has had an office in Seoul since 2012.