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A delegation from the Government of Tianjin (in northeast China), headed by the deputy mayor of the capital city, Ren Xuefeng, visited Barcelona yesterday in order to strengthen economic and trade cooperation between Catalonia and one of this Asian superpower’s most prosperous provinces.

The Chinese group met with politicians, representatives from Catalan economic-promotion organizations, clusters and businesses, including first deputy mayor for the Barcelona City Council, Joaquim Forn; director general for International Relations in the Secretariat for Foreign Affairs, Francesc de Paula Gambús; CEO of ACC1Ó, Josep Moragas; director of International Relations and Cooperation for the Barcelona City Council, Joaquim Llimona, and head of internationalization for ACC1Ó, Diego Guri. The biotechnology sector in Catalonia was represented by Biocat director of Communications and External Relations, Adela Farré; CEO of Oryzon Genomics, Carlos Buesa, and chairman of the Lipotec Group, José María García (both companies are looking to move into the Chinese market in the near future).

Tianjin —the name of both the province and the capital— has been an important industrial hub since the beginning of the 20th century, strategically located between Beijing and the sea. The Plan for National Economic and Social Development of the People's Republic of China, approved in 2006, mentions the development and opening up of the Tianjin Binhai New Area as part of the country’s global development strategy and that Tianjin is to become an economic center over the coming years. There are currently nearly 1,000 scientific and technological research centers in this region. Tianjin Park Hi-Tech Industrial, founded in 1988, has become a symbol of scientific cooperation and technological progress in the area. Additionally, the National Supercomputing Center of Tianjin is home to the second most powerful supercomputer in the world (Top500 List, November 2011).

The key sectors for foreign investment are pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical devices, food, the automotive industry, electronics, maritime petrochemicals and new construction materials. According to the Chinese government, more than one hundred of the top 500 countries in the world have invested in this region.

This event is the second initiative ACC1Ó has organized since January 2012 to help Catalan companies find new business opportunities in China. The first, as Biocat reported on this website, is a trade mission to the main technology parks in Guangdong that will take place from 25 to 30 March.

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