The Welsh Government’s new international strategy will aim to present Wales to the world as a ‘Creative Next Generation Nation’, Minister for International Relations, Eluned Morgan will say today.
During a lecture to mark the 20th anniversary of devolution and the centenary of Aberystwyth University’s Department of International Politics, the first university department in the world dedicated to the study of international affairs, the Minister will set out how the new strategy will present Wales as “a forward looking country, that is dynamic and ambitious whose greatest strength is our people and our concern for their future.”
The minister will say that sport; the Welsh language; cultural heritage; our approach to equality and diversity; excellence and expertise; sustainability; environment; and recycling – Wales’s concern for global issues all contribute to shaping the national identity, “and it’s this positive identity we will present to the world.”
Wales will be presented as “a land of values”, which include fairness, solidarity and concern for the future. This will be used to project our commitment to “responsible global citizenship”.
The strategy will focus on:
- Growing the prosperity of Wales by increasing the numbers of Welsh businesses which export internationally and we will continue to attract high quality foreign investment. The Welsh Government will ensure Wales is recognised as a global leader in a number of key sectors such as cyber security
- Consolidating and building upon our relationships with the EU and EU Member States and develop deeper meaningful relations with European partners, and organisations such as the WHO, who share common interests and policy objectives to extend our influence on the European stage, but to also achieve our policy goals back home
- Pushing for the maximum possible participation in negotiations on the UK’s future relationship with the EU and other trading partners to ensure that Wales’ interests are secured
- Using education to improve our understanding of the world in Wales, and work with education institutions to increase the number of students studying in Wales
- Promote Wales as a welcoming nation, celebrating the communities who have chosen to make Wales their home as well as promoting Wales as a Nation of Sanctuary
- Promoting Wales’ global responsibilities through the Wales for Africa programme and by demonstrating our approach to global citizenship
- Support the foundation economy of Wales, including showcasing our natural assets through increased levels of tourism and our healthcare agenda.
- Use the Welsh language and bilingualism to promote Wales further.
- Using key organisations and partners to help us deliver and project our mission including the Welsh diaspora, UK Government and cultural organisations.
Speaking ahead of the lecture, Minister for International Relations, Eluned Morgan said:
“Brexit has changed everything. It will be a fundamental change of direction for the UK and presents many challenges for Wales.
“For half a century, the European Union has provided Wales’ window on the world. Despite Brexit, Wales will continue to be a European nation. This is a matter of commerce certainly, but also a matter of culture and values.
“We now need to deepen existing and build new relationships with nations and businesses. Wales has always been an outward-looking country. We cannot afford to turn our backs on the world, and nor will we. So we need to sell Wales to the world like never before.
“We stand on the edge of a new era. That’s why the Welsh Government is putting in place the steps we need to take to ensure Wales does not suffer as a result of the UK’s exit from the EU.
“In a keynote speech at Aberystwyth University this evening, I’ll be setting out my aspirations of how we should be presenting Wales to the world and how I will be addressing these challenges.
“As part of the development of new international strategy, we will test the idea of presenting Wales to the world as a ‘Creative Next Generation Nation’. I want the world to see us as a forward looking country, that is dynamic and ambitious whose greatest strength is our people and our concern for their future.”