Article published by Catalan News Agency, 1st September 2016
Barcelona (CNA).- The Catalan Government has named Sergi Marcén new Head of Delegation of the Government to the United Kingdom and Ireland. Marcén took office on Thursday with the aim of strengthening the bilateral relations between Catalonia and the governments and institutions of the United Kingdom and Ireland. Catalonia’s external action goal is to defend and promote the country’s interest abroad at a time of great significance for the country. The new Head of Delegation held his first meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Raül Romeva in Barcelona in order to set his main priorities of action. Marcén replaces Josep Manuel Suàrez, who retired last spring. The Catalan Delegation is based at 17 Fleet Street, in London.
After the ‘Brexit’ result, Catalonia wants to improve its support and service to the Catalan citizens and Catalan companies in the UK and Ireland. The business relationship between both countries is growing exponentially in the last few years and the government does not want this to change. Catalan exports in the UK increased by 10.7% last year, amounting to €4,084 million. In fact, the UK is Catalonia’s fifth largest market in business volume. There are a lot of Catalan companies now investing in Britain: investment was €2,378 million in 2015. Similarly there are 404 British companies in Catalonia.
Moreover, the UK exit from the European Union is also a potential business opportunity for Catalonia. The Catalan Government has already expressed interest in hosting the headquarters of the European Medicines Agency, currently based in Canary Wharf, in London. Politically, the process of separation between the UK and the EU and the role of Scotland can set interesting precedents for Catalonia at a very challenging time. The Catalan Government has always expressed admiration for the UK and the fact that London allowed an independence referendum in Scotland and a vote on the EU.
The new Head of Delegation
Born in Barcelona in 1969, Sergi Marcén is an industrial electronics engineer holding a postgraduate degree in Business Management. He studied Marketing at the Westminster University in London, and internationalization strategies, clusters and business competitiveness and team and projects management in Barcelona. He has been an expert speaker in numerous seminars and conferences, such as the Smart City Expo World Congress, the Mobile World Congress, European Conference EMMIA, and has participated in the industrial development of ICT policies in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). He is also a founding member of Catalans UK.
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