Opening of the delegation in Portugal, February 2020

The Catalan government will have three new delegations abroad, including its first ones in Asia and Australia. President Torra announced that new offices will be opened in Australia, Japan, and Senegal on Wednesday during the annual general policies debate. With these three new offices, Catalonia will have 18 in all of the world’s inhabited continents.

The Catalan president stated that the network of delegations abroad helps Catalan firms export their goods and attract international investment. Torra also said that during the peak of the pandemic, the offices “helped over 3,000 Catalans stranded in 109 countries” return home despite the major transport disruptions and border closures. The cabinet is expected to approve the creation of the three new offices in the coming weeks.

The new office in Senegal will become the government’s operation center for all of Sub-Saharan Africa. As for that of Japan, it is expected to help strengthen trade ties with East Asia, while the one in Australia, which will also cover New Zealand, is intended to foster learning about digital electoral procedures and Covid-19 protocols.

Spain’s response

The executive does not expect Spain to take legal action against them as the current Spanish foreign minister, Arancha González Laya, did not continue to challenge the new offices’ reopening after direct rule, unlike her predecessor, Josep Borrell, who is the current head of EU diplomacy.

The offices in Japan, Australia, and Senegal will follow the 15 already in operation. These are located in London (covering the UK and Ireland), Brussels (for the EU), Berlin (for Germany), Washington, D.C. (for the US), Rome (for Italy), Geneva (for Switzerland), Paris (for France), Zagreb (for the Balkans), in Riga (for the Baltic countries), Vienna (for Central Europe), Stockholm (for the Nordic countries), Lisbon (for Portugal), Buenos Aires (for Argentina), Mexico City (for Mexico) as well as in Tunis (for Tunisia).

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