Wales

Review targets assembly government's overseas offices

Chrysler building
Image caption It is understood the office in the Chrysler building is likely to close

The future of many of the assembly government's overseas offices, including a high-profile one in New York, is being considered.

An assembly government spokesperson confirmed it was reviewing all its overseas offices to "ensure that Wales is well represented globally".

BBC Wales understands the office in the iconic Chrysler building in New York is likely to close.

However, a formal decision has not yet been made.

In a statement, an assembly government spokesperson said: "We do operate a small number of offices in key locations overseas with the sole aim of raising the international profile of Wales and promoting investment and trade.

"The reality is that if we are to fight for a slice of global business, Wales needs to be represented aboard.

"These offices have played a part in securing high-quality business opportunities for Wales over the years and will continue to do so in the future.

"However, we are currently reviewing all of our overseas offices to ensure that Wales is well represented globally."

A formal ministerial decision has not yet been made but the assembly government is understood to be likely to move out of the Chrysler building to save on costs.

Remaining offices

The assembly government's offices across Europe are also expected to close - in Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin, Milan and Munich - although the office in Brussels will survive.

It is understood the work of the closed offices will be carried out from Cardiff.

Other offices in Australia, China and the United States will continue.

It is unclear whether the remaining offices in Dubai, Hong Kong, Bangalore, Delhi, and Tokyo will remain open or be closed.

It has been reported the total cost of running the existing overseas offices was £5.3m in 2009/10, with the cost of the Chrysler building alone being £1.97m for the same period.

A decision is expected on the future of the offices in the next few weeks.

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