Catalonia to participate in China's leading automotive sector forum

International Events · Automotive, Logistics & Smart Cities

10 Jul 2024

The Minister for Business and Labour, accompanied by the Director General of Industry, will deliver a keynote speech at the China Automotive Forum, highlighting Catalonia's assets and opportunities as a destination for productive project deployments.

This week, the Minister for Business and Labour of the Government of Catalonia, Roger Torrent, is leading an institutional trip to China to participate in the China Automotive Forum, the country’s main automotive sector event. This trip aims to position Catalonia as one of the most attractive regions in Europe for attracting foreign productive investment projects, specifically in the automotive industry.

The institutional trip is part of the initiatives promoted by ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment—the agency for business competitiveness under the Ministry for Business and Labour—through the China Desk. This office, launched in 2024, works to increase the attraction of investment projects for Chinese production plants, headquarters, or technology centers, mainly in the mobility and health sectors. The Director General of Industry, Oriol Alcoba, will also participate in this trip.

Specifically, this Saturday, during the China Automotive Forum, the Minister for Business and Labour and the Director General of Industry will participate in one of the events organized within the framework of the forum, a discussion space focusing on promoting the sustainable development of the entire automotive industry value chain.

The event will feature speeches from representatives of the Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacturers, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, as well as multinationals such as GWM International, Chery, and China Telecom International, among others. The Catalan government presentation will focus on highlighting the assets and opportunities Catalonia offers as an industrial hub and, particularly, as an automotive powerhouse, with the aim of strengthening commercial relations between both regions and, specifically, positioning Catalonia as a destination for productive projects.

Working sessions with multinationals and organizations

Additionally, as part of the trip, the delegation led by the Minister will visit the R&D center of the multinational Chery in Shanghai, along with representatives from the Barcelona City Council. The Minister for Business and Labour will also visit Zhangjiang High Tech Park, which specializes in semiconductors, and will meet with other Chinese companies in the sector and various technological industries.

During this legislative term, Torrent has traveled to China on several occasions recently. From these visits, he announced the attraction of investment projects, such as those of the Chinese company Chery choosing Barcelona for its first electric car plant in Europe and Chinese multinational Wanhua, one of the largest companies in the chemical industry worldwide, which will open an innovation center in Catalonia with the support of ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment. At the end of 2023, it was also announced that the Chinese textile company Shanghai Jingqingrong Garment would open its first overseas production plant in Catalonia following a meeting with a government delegation.

China, a strategic market

Currently, there are over 200 subsidiaries of Chinese companies established in Catalonia. This exponential growth in recent years has made China the third most important non-European country in terms of the number of subsidiaries in Catalonia, only preceded by the United States and Japan.

With 27 million vehicles produced in 2022, China is the world's largest automobile producer, significantly surpassing the United States (10 million), Japan (7.8 million), and India (5.5 million). It is a strategic country for the Catalan government, being one of the largest investors globally but one of the least established in Europe in the manufacturing sector.

The China Auto Forum, the country's main automotive industry event, annually brings together over a thousand attendees, including nearly 200 high-level speakers and participation from around 500 companies. Organized by the Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), it is supported by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) and the World Economic Forum (WEF). The event features a conference agenda focusing on various key aspects of the automotive industry.

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Qiaoshan Xue

Qiaoshan Xue

Head of China Desk


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