Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros
High Commissioner for Marca España
“The King symbolizes modern Spain, and supports the participation of Spanish enterprises in international projects and tenders”
Marca España or marcas españolas: Is there more than one “Brand Spain”?
We designed Marca España (Brand Spain) as an umbrella for all kinds of different brands related to different regions, cities, enterprises, or products. Ultimately, this umbrella encompasses, protects, and projects the image of the country as a whole, which is the sum of all of these Spanish brands.
Has Marca España contributed to improving the image of the country within Spanish society?
The project was created with the mission of coordinating activity to promote Spain with a view to improving the country’s image abroad. We realized pretty early on that, in order for those at the cutting edge to be able to do their work, there also had to be a rearguard to back them up. Spaniards must be able to have confidence in their country, regaining their pride in Spain and satisfaction with the country. We have worked pretty hard on this area, attending a lot of meetings at universities, cultural centers and clubs. Spaniards are noticeably more satisfied and have greater confidence in their country now, and this is also linked to the improved economic situation.
Is internationalization an opportunity or a duty?
What the crisis has shown us is that we cannot depend solely on the domestic market because when that market suffers a severe setback, as we’ve seen in Spain, enterprises are very vulnerable and run the risk of collapsing. Our enterprises have learned that tables that stand on four legs are more stable than those that balance on one leg alone. So they have internationalized, and in some cases this has been a heroic feat because many of these companies were not ready. The majority of enterprises and have understood that internationalization isn’t something you can do in a day. It is the key to the survival of Spanish businesses.
What role does the King have in this respect?
The King symbolizes modern Spain. He projects the image of a young, well-prepared leader with knowledge of issues that he can discuss with anybody in the world. He is knowledgeable about the situation in Spain, and informs his counterparts (other monarchs, presidents, of republics or heads of state) what Spain is and what it can offer. The King supports the participation of Spanish enterprises in international projects and tenders, and his presence facilitates contact with the highest levels of decision-making. Both King Juan Carlos and King Felipe VI have been exceptionally effective in this endeavor. Many Spanish businesspeople are aware of this, and are grateful for what they have been able to achieve in international markets thanks to this support.
Is Europe getting too small for Spain, as it is for other countries?
Yes. When we look at world maps and the specific weight of different regions, in the twentieth century Europe represented half the planet. Now, Europe accounts for 30 percent of the world’s output, and this figure will probably drop to 15 percent in the future. The countries currently growing at rates above 5 percent are all located in Asia. Centers of attention such as the United States now look less toward the Atlantic and increasingly toward the Pacific. That is the reality.