- The Government of Catalonia and the Government of Gyeonggi-do renew the agreement to continue collaborating in the economic, business and cultural fields until 2028
event_note Press Release
The President of the Government of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès i Garcia, and the Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret i Aleu, held a meeting this Monday with the Governor of Gyeonggi-do, Kim Dong-yeon, to strengthen bilateral relations with the South Korean region.
On the first day of the institutional visit to the Republic of Korea, Aragonès and Dong-yeon showed their commitment to renewing the collaboration agreement that will allow the governments of Catalonia and Gyeonggi-do to continue cooperating until 2028, especially in the fields of economics and trade, science and technology, research and education, tourism, agriculture, the environment and culture.
Aragonès reaffirmed the commitment of the Catalan Government to the Government of Gyeonggi-do, with whom Catalonia has had this agreement since 1999 and which will be made clear next year with the signing of the agreement for four more years.“Catalonia and Gyeonggi-do are two leading territories in the industrial and research fields, and we have many interests in common”, the President assured the media after the meeting. In this respect, Aragonès highlighted Korea’s evolution in areas such as “the semiconductor industry or artificial intelligence, which are very attractive for European strategic autonomy projects”, as is the work that Catalonia is doing in “biomedicine or the development of quantum technologies”.
“Clearly aligned with the interests of the European Union, Catalonia is strengthening these twinning links with the Republic of Korea, which makes perfect sense on an economic but also a political and cultural scale”, declared the President.
In the coming months, a committee made up of various Government of Catalonia ministries is expected to be held to establish new avenues of collaboration with the Korean region, especially in the video game sector, cultural and creative industries, and the exchange of good practices in the budgetary field, incorporating the gender perspective and the green transition.
DETA Alliance on disruptive technologies
The meeting also served to boost Gyeonggi-do’s involvement in the DETA Alliance on disruptive technologies, of which it has been a member since June this year. This Alliance, promoted and led by the Government of Catalonia, seeks to bring together national and regional governments from around the world to jointly address the debate on how institutions should act and legislate in the face of the emergence of technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum technologies.
In this respect, the President stressed that the Alliance is working to ensure“the development of emerging and disruptive technologies, such as artificial intelligence, quantum technologies or big data to generate prosperity and new opportunities”, and he stressed the importance of the participation of a territory such as Korea,“one of the states that, on a global scale, concentrates the most advanced technologies in its industrial development”.
The Alliance includes participants from the regions of Flanders (Belgium), Hessen (Germany), Scotland (UK), Quebec (Canada) and the province of Buenos Aires (Argentina), and the Government of Gyeonggi-do (South Korea) is expected to formalise its entry into the international initiative in the near future.
Exhibition of Catalan graffiti artists
The President spoke to the media at the Gyeonggi-do Provincial Museum, where he visited the exhibition of Catalan graffiti artists “Catalonia Women Graffiti Writers”, organised by the Government of Gyeonggi-do and the Government of Catalonia Delegation to South Korea. During the visit, Aragonès greeted the artists Laia, Musa71 and Harrybones, and met the director of the museum.
With almost 14 million inhabitants, Gyeonggi-do is South Korea’s most populous region and is considered the country’s economic and industrial centre. In fact, its economy accounts for one-fifth of the country’s total national GDP and exports. The province has a wide variety of industries, including chemicals, steel, textiles, electronics and computers, and semiconductors: this last industry is the second largest in the world.
The relationship between the Government of Catalonia and the Government of Gyeonggi-do dates back to 1999, when a collaboration agreement was signed. This agreement was renewed in 2021. Catalonia has received numerous visits from delegations from Gyeonggi-do to discuss alliances in the areas of civil service, social affairs, urban planning, universities and research, budgetary and financial planning, territory and infrastructure, self-government, tourism and culture.
Likewise, the region’s governor, Kim Dong-yeon, has a long history within the Korean Government, having served as the South Korean Government’s Minister of Policy Coordination between 2013 and 2014, and, between 2017 and 2018, as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance.