On St David’s Day, the Welsh Government will be supporting ten businesses from across Wales to forge new trade links and strengthen existing ties with the Basque Country via a virtual trade mission.
The businesses, from Wales’ life sciences and healthcare sectors, are attending the virtual trade mission, which takes place between 1st and 12th March, to network, exchange knowledge and develop trading and collaborative relationships with a range of potential partners and customers in the Basque Country.
The Basque Country is identified as a priority partner region in the Welsh Government’s International Strategy, and this relationship was formalised in July 2018 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.
The virtual trade mission is delivering on the Welsh Government’s commitments in the recently published Export Action Plan to support the development of Welsh exports, including enabling companies in key export sectors to explore opportunities in international markets.
Participants include companies being supported through a new pilot Export Clustering initiative for life sciences aimed at bringing companies together to share best practice and promote exports in this sector. The mission will build on the already close ties with Basque Trade & Invest and the Basque Healthcare cluster to explore potential trade and opportunities to collaborate in technology and research.
To date, there have been several notable examples of successful collaboration between businesses in Wales and the Basque Country, including Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) who invested in Wales and is now manufacturing trains for the South Wales Metro.
The companies will be connected and introduced to potential business partners virtually. This will help Welsh and Basque companies engage and develop relationships, with the aim of meeting face to face when eventually possible.
Economy Minister Ken Skates said: “St David’s Day provides us with a great opportunity to celebrate the fantastic companies we have here in Wales and showcase their goods and services to other parts of the world.
“I am delighted that we are working jointly to deliver this event with our colleagues in the Basque Country, which has a strong manufacturing base and focus on science and innovation, making it a key partner for Wales. We value the strong links that we have developed over the years, especially for trade and investment, and long may this continue.
“I am proud to see that there are so many Welsh businesses that continue to recognise the opportunities that lie beyond our border. This trade mission will provide the Welsh delegation with a unique opportunity to showcase their world-leading products and services, alongside our academic expertise and vibrant research culture that has made life sciences such a key growth area in Wales.”