Spain’s image abroad is “very solid” and “respected,” with the negative effects of the economic crisis being just a temporary factor that will not affect the country’s permanent value, Brand Spain High Commissioner Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros said.
Spanish companies are “admired” around the world and the crisis has not affected their image, Espinosa de los Monteros said in an interview with Agencia EFE.
Foreign firms based in Spain are also satisfied with the country, the No. 1 nation in Europe for industrial investment in 2012, the high commissioner said.
“Currently, there are 90,000 (Spanish) companies that export regularly and in India alone there are nearly 300” small- and medium-sized firms operating, Espinosa de los Monteros said.
“These are positive figures and sometimes it seems like they are ignored by Spaniards themselves,” the Brand Spain chief said.
Japan will be the target country in 2013 and 2014 for the Spanish government, with plans in the works for joint events and bilateral trade cooperation projects, Espinosa de los Monteros said.
Spain is also maintaining a strong presence in the United States, where the 500th anniversary of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon’s discovery of Florida will be commemorated next year, the Brand Spain chief told Efe.
Other events in 2013 will mark the founding of several cities on the U.S. Pacific coast, such as Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Jose and San Diego, Espinosa de los Monteros said.
“The glass should be viewed as half full and not half empty,” the high commissioner said, referring to recent figures that indicate Spain may have turned the corner on the economic crisis.
Brand Spain, an agency created just six months ago, will promote Spain’s economic, social, cultural and sports reality around the world, with a Web site being launched on Dec. 20, Espinosa de los Monteros said.
“Brand Spain does not want to sell smoke but to make the reality known and highlight the areas in which Spain stands out, as well as its leadership positions,” the high commissioner said, adding that “there are many things to make one feel proud of being a Spaniard.”