Catalan firms are also ambassadors for Catalonia
Minister Romeva closes the business diplomacy sessions organized by DIPLOCAT and PIMEC
The first Catalan business diplomacy workshop was held today in the Moritz Factory installations in Barcelona. It was organized by the Catalan Public Diplomacy Council (DIPLOCAT) and PIMEC (small and medium-sized business association), with the collaboration of the Moritz brewing firm. This activity focussed on the values of Catalonia in the field of economic and business diplomacy, and as an attractive and competitive environment for investments. This has been demonstrated by recently published data, such as the fact that foreign investment in 2015 has increased by 57.8% with respect to 2014 as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Institutional Relations and Transparency, Raül Romeva, pointed out.
Speaking about the direction diplomacy should take in the 21st century, Romeva said ”institutions and cities have to cooperate in the task of international exposure” and that “our firms are also ambassadors for Catalonia.” According to the minister, “we must combine different disciplines such as creation, research and economy so as to present ourselves to the world based on our unique situation.” Romeva also spoke about the social responsibility of firms and the need for Catalonia to have advanced modern infrastructures so as to continue being an attractive place for business.
Moderated by the journalist Nati Adell, the workshop began with the presentation of three past PIMEC-DIPLOCAT business diplomacy award winners, who talked about their experiences and how they have successfully exported goods and services to the rest of the world. Jordi Cuixart, director general of Aranow (2013 award winner), explained that his firm made a firm decision to use the brand names of Catalonia and Barcelona from day one, and they immediately realized that this was generating positive attention in the firm. “The expression made in Catalonia has opened many doors for us,” he explained.
Pere Vallès, executive director of Scytl (2014 award winner), a world leader in the sector of electronic voting, stated that it is accepted as normal nowadays to have a technological firm based in Barcelona, and this is also appreciated by venture capital financers. Scytl is aiming to join the NADAQ stock exchange soon. Finally, Santi Manzano, director general of the historic Barcelona-based brewery Moritz (2015 award winner), explained that they have defended Catalan culture and social values ever since they re-launched the firm in 2004, and that this is an important part of their focus when exporting internationally. According to Manzano, Moritz is also a good example of how creativity can sometimes compensate for limited economic resources.
With the aim of showing more examples of good business practice from other countries, Ariane Derks, the director general of Germany – Land of Ideas (Germany’s brand name) was invited to speak at the event. Derks explained her vision of how to create and manage a national brand, and insisted the importance of being truthful and honest, “You have to explain the stories of your country, not invent them.” When asked about the possibilities of brand Catalonia, she considered that there are some strong starting points such as culture and industry and stated that it depends on the Catalan people to know how far they want to go. She also expressed their wish that the brand Europe become stronger in the future, stronger than individual country brands.
Esteve Pintó, president of the Ben Fet project, presented this seal of quality for products manufactured in Catalonia, which was created by PIMEC with the aim of extending the reputation of Catalan firms and their products and services both nationally and internationally.
During the opening speeches the secretary general of DIPLOCAT, Albert Royo, encouraged small and medium-sized Catalan firms to use their assets and values internationally, and Antoni Cañete, the secretary general of PIMEC, pointed out the importance of having a good national brand as it adds value and visibility to products and facilitates their entrance in international markets.
Last updated: 18 August 2016