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 Minster 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.

Before being appointed Head of the Delegation to the UK and Ireland, Marcén was Director of Strategy and Innovation at the Centre for Telecommunications and Information Technology, responsible for the country’s strategic projects and ICT corporate strategy. He has extensive training and professional experience in the development of strategies for the promotion of industry in the field of Telecommunications and Information Society, both in the public and the private sector.

Marcén was one of the members of the negotiating team for the establishment of the Mobile World Congress and Mobile World Capital in Barcelona. In the private sector, he has held management positions at national and international companies such as Computer Dos, SATEC, ONO, TELIA and Eicon Technology, with headquarters in London. He is also an expert member of the European Mobile and Mobility Industries Alliance, a strategic initiative of the European Commission, board member at the Institut d’Informàtica (IMI) of the Barcelona City Council and member of the Board of the Associació Catalana de Privacitat i Seguretat Digital, the Catalan Association of Digital Privacy and Security.

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