The lehendakari opens up the way for the city of Boise to cooperate in the "Donostia 2016" project
THE LEHENDAKARI OUTLINED THE BASQUE INTERNATIONALIZATION STRATEGY TO KICK START THE ECONOMY TO MEMBERS OF THE IDAKO COMMUNITY
The Basque delegation led by Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu, the Basque Premier, met with the Mayor of Boise, David Bieter, who is of Basque origin and the only mayor outside the Basque Country to speak Basque. The Mayor, an “ambassador” of the Basque Country in the United States, and the Lehendakari stressed their determination to foster the relationship and cooperation between the Basque Country and the United States in the cultural, business and institutional spheres.
The Lehendakari stressed that this meeting has been instrumental in opening up a channel of cooperation to give momentum to the “Donostia 2016” project. It is for the European Captial of Culture, yet the presence of Boise, the most important Euskaldun city of the Diaspora in the United States, could extend its outreach internationally, stressed Urkullu.
On the other hand, as regards culture and education, the Lehendakari announced the setting up of a university chair, the result of the cooperation between the Etxepare Institute and Boise State University. Urkullu explained that this chair will bear the name of the mayor’s mother, Eloise Garmendia Bieter, in tribute to her commitment to Basque culture and her outstanding role in the community.
MEETING WITH COMPANIES
After this meeting, the Lehendakari, accompanied by Minister Uriarte, the Secretary General for External Action and the Delegate of the Basque Country in the United States met with senior executives from 30 or so Idaho companies. The Lehendakari explained that investment, supporting companies and public-private partnership are the priorities of the Basque Government to strengthen the economic growth that began in 2014 and to continue to generate job opportunities. Iñigo Urkullu presented Euskadi-Basque Country, the Basque internationalization strategy, and outlined the basic aspects of the 4I (Investment, Industry, Innovation, Internationalization) initiative that is committed to supporting industry and business activity.
During his speech, he stressed that the Basque Country has emerged into the "light", linked to the end of five decades of terrorism. “ETA and terrorism was a burden for the Basque Country, particularly a human one but also for our image and presence abroad," he explained.
Urkullu stressed the characteristics of Euskadi-Basque Country, a country “with an age-old culture, its own treasury, that is innovative and with a high standard of living and per capita income”. The United States is one of its trading partners and, in fact, it is the first destination of Basque business investments (Basque companies have invested €20 billion in the USA) and the third export market, which accounts for 7.7% of the total Basque exports.
Moreover, Iñigo Urkullu ended by ensuring all the people present at this business meeting that "we share a single target: to foster the internationalization of Euskadi-Basque Country”.