The Government of Catalonia -through Catalonia Trade & Investment, the Ministry for Business and Knowledge’s agency for business competitiveness-, Barcelona City Council and Futbol Club Barcelona will carry out joint actions to promote Catalonia internationally. This is the result of an agreement signed this Thursday by the Minister for Business and Knowledge, Àngels Chacón, the first deputy mayor of Barcelona City Council, Jaume Collboni, and the president of Futbol Club Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu.
The aim of the collaboration agreement is to promote Catalonia and Barcelona’s positioning abroad and to attract new investment from foreign companies. Therefore, the entities will organize joint international promotion actions, for example, during Barça’s professional teams’ tours abroad, either during the regular season or the summer season. At the same time, the agreement also includes the possibility of jointly receiving foreign institutional or business delegations in Barcelona.
The agreement signed this Thursday will follow actions that have already been carried out previously, such as the organization of promotion and business events 'Barcelona Catalonia Talks, Business & Barça' in Tokyo and Kobe last year as part of Barça’s summer tour in Japan to jointly present Catalonia and Barcelona’s assets. During the celebration of football matches in these two cities, promotional events were organized before senior executives of about forty Japanese industrial companies in sectors such as life sciences, pharmaceutical industry, chemistry, video games and robotics.
Under the agreement, the three institutions join forces and create new synergies. In the case of the Catalan Government, it offers Catalonia’s trade & Investment network of 40 Foreign Offices, which are responsible for the attraction of new foreign investment projects to Catalonia offering comprehensive advice to foreign companies during the recruitment and investment process.
According to the Minister for Business and Knowledge, Àngels Chacón, the agreement signed this Thursday "is an example of the sum of efforts that should allow us to take a step further in the promotion of Catalonia abroad and therefore contribute to the country’s positioning around the world: this requires long-term strategies, creating bonds and building trust, and the agreement we signed today is an example of this, now more than ever in this environment of complexity ”. Chacón said that "with this agreement we want to strengthen the foreign investment attraction strategy in Catalonia, which has already been recognized by entities such as the Financial Times". "In the last five years (2015-2019), Catalonia has attracted more than 23.5 billion euros in foreign investment, 35% more than in the previous five-year period", she said.
In fact, the Ministry for Business and Knowledge, through the Catalan Tourist Board, and FC Barcelona have held a partnership agreement since 2012 with the aim of promoting Catalonia as a tourist destination in international markets. In this sense, according to Chacón, “we have been collaborating closely with FC Barcelona for a long time to project our tourist image around the world. We share values similar to those we want for our country's tourism: leadership, professionalism, innovation, dynamism, respect and effort".
According to the president of FC Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu, “the union of Barça, the Catalan Government and Barcelona City Council for the promotion of Catalonia around the world is great news. We will continue to work in line with what we have done so far to strengthen our country’s positioning around the world with actions in which sport plays an important role. We provide the country with the visibility and fondness that our Club arouses in order to reverse the complex reality in which we live. In these turbulent times of global uncertainty, alliances like this are needed, now more than ever: united we are strong (tots units fem força)”.
For the deputy mayor for Economy, Work, Competitiveness and Finance of Barcelona City Council, Jaume Collboni, “the economic recovery of Barcelona requires the alignment of public and private agents and therefore, the accumulation and the optimization of all the resources available in the city, and the agreement signed today is one step further in this direction”. Collboni highlighted that “public-private collaboration makes even more sense in areas such as international economic promotion, because the result of adding the reputational value of Barcelona, Fútbol Club Barcelona and the Government of Catalonia is exponentially higher than if we work separately”. "We combine city, club and country to present ourselves in foreign markets where we have complementary interests and this projects us as a solid and serious investment destination", Collboni said.
In recent years, Barcelona City Council, together with Catalonia Trade & Investment, has organized the “Barcelona Talks, Business & Sònar” at the international editions of Sònar in Copenhagen, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Santiago de Chile, Hong Kong and Mexico City; and last year the ‘Barcelona Catalonia Talks, Business & Barça’ conferences in Tokyo and Kobe. And in September last year, Barcelona City Council and Futbol Club Barcelona signed a collaboration agreement so that graphics inspired by the city's coat of arms could be used as the background plot of the football team’s third kit during the 2019-2020 season. The City Council promotes work to preserve the city's reputation through the Marca Barcelona project, to promote and align communication actions with city agents both locally and internationally, stimulating their involvement and taking advantage of synergies for the international projection of Barcelona.