Eluned Morgan AM, Minister for International Relations & Welsh Language
In 2015, the Welsh Government published its international agenda: Wales in the World. Since then, the international landscape has changed dramatically creating the need for a new refocused strategy that sets out an international vision for Wales. As Wales’ first Minister for International Relations, I have been working with stakeholders over the last six months to develop a strategy that sets out our proposed international ambitions in an uncertain and changing world.
The continuing uncertainty of Brexit, the lack of clarity on our relationship with our nearest neighbours, and the protracted EU withdrawal negotiations have added significant delay and difficulty to the drafting of this international strategy. However, I am delighted to launch a draft strategy for public consultation today.
With the consultation closing on 23 October, just one week from the UK’s extended deadline to leave the European Union, the final strategy will need to have a degree of flexibility built into it, and will have to adapt to the circumstances at the time of publication, in response to the ‘deal’ and ‘no deal’ scenarios which will be clearer after 31 October.
The strategy will be supported by delivery plans which will contain targets and key actions. However, it is impossible to include targets at this time because of the current uncertainties surrounding the Brexit outcome.
The priority goals set out in the plan include:
- Raise Wales’ profile internationally;
- Increase our exports and encourage inward investment, growing our economy and creating new jobs and opportunities for people in Wales;
- Show the world what we are doing as a globally responsible nation.
I believe that these three goals capture the creativity of Wales; the way we have harnessed technology and our commitment to sustainability. Almost all departments in the Welsh Government have international engagement as part of their work. This strategy will shape that work and focus efforts to ensure we have a common and consistent message to deliver our triple ambition.
There are many Welsh people and organisations at home and abroad who are interested in helping us to raise the profile of Wales and we hope that through working with them we can add value to the efforts of the Welsh Government in the international arena.
I look forward to considering the responses to the consultation. The consultation can be viewed via the following link:
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.