UK government departments need to do more to work with the Welsh Government to promote Wales across the world post-Brexit, International Relations Minister, Eluned Morgan will say today.
Speaking at a Wales Governance centre/Welsh Centre for International Affairs conference in Cardiff later, the minister will say the UK’s decision to leave the European Union marks a fundamental shift in the international environment – which means Wales needs to increase its global profile in the post-Brexit world.
The Welsh Government recognised the importance of increasing Wales’ international profile, with the appointment of the first dedicated Minister for International Relations.
The minister is currently leading work to develop a new international strategy for the Welsh Government, which will be a refocused, strategic document communicating the Welsh Government’s approach to engagement with the rest of the world.
Specifically, the minister wants to see closer working with the UK government – with Welsh Ministers giving a clear direction to its departments and agencies that represent the UK abroad on how the Welsh Government expects them to deliver specific Welsh expectations and to support ministers to deliver the objectives in their new international strategy.
Speaking ahead of the conference, Eluned Morgan said:
It’s no exaggeration to say that we stand on the edge of a new world and that Wales will have to work harder than ever to rise above the increasing global competition, to promote itself on the world stage.
For a small country, Wales has a lot to offer and we must do more to increase our international profile. We have record levels of employment and inward investment; growing exports, world class universities, a thriving food and drink sector and huge national assets and natural strengths. We conduct world-leading research, bring forward pioneering legislation – like the Wellbeing and Future Generations Act – and take bold progressive policy decisions.
That’s the vision I want Wales to take to the world.
So the new strategy I am developing will ensure that at its heart, it delivers positive outcomes for the people of Wales and that the strategy is founded on a clear set of values which will help us promote Wales across the world.
But we can’t do that in isolation. We need the UK government to do far more to work with the Welsh Government to promote Wales to the world. They need to work hand-in-glove with us to ensure we give clear direction to departments such as the FCO, DIT, DfID, MOD, as well as Visit Britain, the British Council, and the BBC World Service on Welsh priorities and how we expect them to deliver for people in Wales.
So a key part of our new strategy will be to give set out clear objectives and provide strategic direction, not just for Welsh Government, but for everyone engaged in the international space so we are all pulling in the same direction, working together to achieve a bigger bang for our buck.
The people of Wales expect, and deserve no less.