The Lehendakari receives the US ambassador at Ajuria Enea
This morning, the Lehendakari received the US ambassador, Alan D. Solomont, on the occasion of his first visit to the Basque Country during which he intends to get first-hand experience of its political, economic and cultural situation.
During the interview, in which he was accompanied by the Secretary General of External Action, Guillermo Echenique, the Lehendakari informed the US ambassador of his forthcoming visit to the USA during the last week in July. He also gave the ambassador some idea of the importance of the United States market for Basque companies. Their business relationships with that country have become even more relevant in view of President Obama's support for renewable energies.
In a recent speech, Obama praised the work being done in Spain in the development of renewable energies as one of the best models on which to base his own strategy. As he put it, "brave investments" in green energy are, precisely, one of the priorities of the Basque Government and an important part of the investment efforts in environmental matters.
In the Lehendakari's opinion, Obama's support for renewable energies opens the door to the development of Basque companies in this sector, some of which already have a significant presence in the USA, such as is the case of Gamesa and Iberdrola.
Visit to the US
After discussing this important matter, the Lehendakari went on to brief the American ambassador on his travel plans to the USA during the last week in July.
Patxi Lopez will visit three of the most important universities in America: Nevada University, where he will present the Governor of the State of Nevada, Jim Gibbons with the Lagun Onari award; Stanford University and Berkeley University. During the course of these visits, the Lehendakari and his team, including the Deans of the Basque Country University, Mondragon and Deusto, will have the opportunity of getting to know the academic-business collaboration model which has been developed especially by the two Californian universities. The Lehendakari will also visit San Francisco, where he will have a meeting with the largest Basque Centre in the world.
The Lehendakari will also take part in the Jaialdi, in Boise, the event organised by Basque residents in the USA, which every five years becomes the shop window of Basque culture. Within the framework of this event, he will take part in the NABO Convention, which brings together almost 100 euskal etxeas and Basque entities in the United States and Canada. During his stay in Boise, he will sign the new five-year "Basque Studies Programme" agreement between the Basque Government and Boise State University.
Agenda of the US ambassador
Co-ordinated by the Secretary General of External Action of the Basque Government, the agenda of Ambassador Solomont in the Basque Country included meetings with leading Basque companies that already have a presence in the US or that wish to strengthen or secure business links with that country. He also had meetings with Grupo Mondragon and visited the Basque Culinary Centre.
Alan Solomont was also invited by the Deusto Business School to give a talk on "the economic prospects of the US".
His meeting with the Lehendakari was included among a number of institutional contacts in the Basque Country, including a meeting with the Mayor of Vitoria, Patxi Lazkoz.