The Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias has completed a visit to China aiming to promote Barcelona's economy and attract new investments. Trias has described the seven-day trip in a positive light and speaks of “enthusiasm, excitement and euphoria" at prospect of collaborations with Chinese companies. Throughout the visit Trias had meetings with various authorities and companies with the aim of attracting investment for key projects in Barcelona. Trias has stressed that the institutions that he had meetings with have greatly appreciated the chance to invest in Barcelona and despite the economic climate in Spain, is optimistic, pointing to the economic potential of the Catalan capital.
In the city of Shenzen, a meeting was held between the Mayor of Barcelona and the Chinese company Huawei. They revealed plans to install an after-sales and repair centre in the municipality of Viladecavalls to cover the entire European market. According to sources at the Department of Enterprise and Employment, this is one of 240 projects that they are working on to attract investment from China and other Southeast Asian countries. In Beijing, Trias had a meeting with the president of the China Certification & Inspection Group. The company is considering a number of European cities as the location for their first laboratory. Trias was optimistic after the meeting, “My feeling is that they will come to Barcelona”. Although a final decision will not be made for a number of months, Trias explained that there was every possibility that the site chosen will be Barcelona. If chosen, the laboratory in Barcelona would be responsible for certifying all European exports to Asia and according to the City Council would have a positive effect on the city’s infrastructure due to increased exportation. In Hong Kong, Trias signed an agreement to establish a bilateral working group between Barcelona and Hong Kong aiming to collaborate and share experiences relating to planning. According to the City Council, Hong Kong has been interested in the remodeling of the Barcelona’s seafront, although Trias has firmly ruled out “imitations” of Hong Kong’s skyline. This agreement establishes a working group through which the two cities can share knowledge and experience.