The President of the Generalitat, Artur Mas, recently returned from leading a week-long trade mission to Brazil. During the trip, Mr. Mas met with representatives from the Roca Company, which specializes in the design, production and commercialization of bathroom hardware products, at the firm’s showroom in São Paulo, lauding the company as a “powerful example of Catalan businesses’ ability to expand internationally”.
Roca seized upon the opportunity presented by the President’s visit to announce a €13.5 million investment in a new Brazilian production plant. The factory in Recife, in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, will open during the first quarter of 2014 and will produce a million faucet fixtures every year, generating more than 230 jobs.
During the trip to Brazil, President Mas also inaugurated the “Barcelona–Rio de Janeiro: Cidades de Marca (Brand-name Cities)” conference; presided over a new inter-university agreement between the State University of Santa Catarina and the University of Barcelona; interviewed with O Estado de São Paulo, the second most read newspaper in Sao Paulo, and the fifth most read in the entire country; and met with former President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
In each press conference the President made it very clear that he was greatly satisfied with his trip to Brazil, which took place during the second week of July. “The principal message to take away from this trip is that establishing ourselves in the world, economically as well as in other aspects, is well within our reach”. Mas also noted that all types of Catalan businesses which are internationally active “are Catalonia’s ambassadors to the world”, underlining the fact that “every time a Catalan business establishes itself in a foreign market, it helps the whole of Catalonia to move forward”.
With regards to the Government’s support for international expansion of Catalan businesses, the President points towards the Government of Catalonia’s 34 foreign offices and their task of increasing Catalonia’s international exposure and fostering stronger bilateral relationships with key countries.
Mr. Mas plans to visit India, where many Catalan companies are also active, later this year. He has noted the progress made during his visit to the United States of America in 2012, and will also travel to Israel, “which is another one of Catalonia’s target markets in the fields of science, technology, and innovation, and also inter-university collaboration”.