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Carwyn Jones, First Minister

First published:
3 August 2018
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

Last week I visited Madrid and Galicia, to meet potential investors and to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Galician Government.

In Madrid I met the UK Ambassador and then the President and senior team of a major potential investor.  Our meeting included a tour of their manufacturing facility and my discussions focussed on the advantages of choosing Wales as a location for investment.

During the visit to Galicia I gave an interview to Galician public television - TVG - before meeting leading global company; Televés.  The ICT company, who design, develop and manufacture equipment for distributing telecommunication services, already operate in Wales and our discussions centred on the Welsh offer and how the Welsh Government could support the company with their future plans.  Following the meeting I had a tour of their state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities.

I also visited the Kærtor Foundation which is a global initiative in open innovation in drug discovery.  The Foundation is led by Professors at the University of Santiago de Compostela and is a good model of public-private collaboration that is driving improved health outcomes for patients.  Research, innovation and technology are key to the success of the life science sector and we look forward to exploring potential collaboration with the Foundation.

My final official engagement in Santiago de Compostela was to meet the President of the Galician Government, D. Alberto Núñez Feijóo, and to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between our Governments. Our discussions focused on Brexit and potential collaboration across areas of common interest.

Wales enjoys good existing relations with Galicia and we already work together across European Networks and in the fields of language policy, health, arts and culture. We have student exchange programmes and the Centre for Galician studies in Wales is hosted by Bangor University.  The MOU will consolidate and broaden these existing contacts and explore new possibilities for co-operation in the future.

The visit provided the opportunity to further promote Wales as a location for inward investment and the tailored packages of support that we can offer.  It demonstrates our vision, desire and commitment to develop strong bi-lateral relations within Europe in preparation for the UK leaving the EU.  This must be a priority for Wales, and I am pleased to see that our strong international engagement has enhanced our profile as an international partner.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.