A campaign to support boosting the Spanish economy and promote the country as a leading nation for companies to trade, operate and invest in has been launched, with the aim of bolstering the image of Spain as a great place to do business.
The collaboration between the Leading Brands of Spain Forum, ICEX and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce aims to improve the ‘internationalisation of the Spanish economy and make the foreign sector a pillar of economic recovery’, by enhancing the reputations of Spanish companies abroad and improving their competitiveness.
The campaign called ‘Think Again, Think Spain’ is aimed at a professional and business audience, in particular in countries with markets that are seen as significant to the Spanish economy and Spanish companies, including the USA, UK, Canada, Mexico, Colombia and Peru.
The campaign came about after a leading reputational study highlighted that Spain has historically been recognised for its ‘softer attributes’ relating to lifestyle, leisure, natural environments and culture. The leadership and ‘know how’ of its companies has generally, to date, been overshadowed and under recognised in a global context.
A key aim of the campaign is to instil confidence in Spain as an important destination for investment and as a trading partner, which is considered a vital component to the country’s ability to recover from the pandemic and provide opportunities for future growth.
The plan was presented at the end of May, at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, with the government confirming its backing for the campaign.
Minister Reyes Maroto said ‘this campaign will contribute to highlighting the value of the Spain brand as a forward looking, dynamic and prosperous country. We are a nation with our own character, but also with a great global vocation, present in the world through our companies, which are leaders in key sectors in the economy of the future, such as renewable energies, the telecommunications sector, high-quality agri-food products and leading products in the pharmaceutical and automotive sectors’.
The plan’s launch followed the earlier presentation of the government’s action plan to support the internationalisation of the Spanish economy, that was announced by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.
During the campaign launch, leaders of the three organisations took part in discussions about their aims and how these will be achieved through the branding and promotional initiatives.
The CEO of ICEX, María Peña, emphasised that ‘ICEX has in its DNA the promotion of the image of Spanish brands and productive sectors abroad. At times like the present, companies are demanding additional efforts in this regard, and this image campaign is a response to the conviction that large companies generate a very positive knock-on effect for small companies’.
Ignacio Osborne, president of the Leading Brands of Spain Forum, highlighted the significance of bringing the campaign together, saying, ‘We need to activate the two-way relationship that exists between a country’s image and that of its companies and brands. The fact that, in the main international studies, Spain is not so highly valued in variables such as the quality of our products and services or in technology and innovation shows that in part there is a lack of knowledge about our economic reality and business fabric. To correct this discrepancy between perception and reality in a credible way, it is necessary to rely on concrete data and milestones of our brand ambassadors.’
President of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, José Luis Bonet, said that, ‘Spain’s international image is based on very solid foundations and has a fundamental prescriptor in the millions of foreign tourists who visit us every year and who, I have no doubt, will do so again once we overcome the pandemic. We also boast companies, which are our best ambassadors in the world, and whose values are highlighted in this campaign as a lever for attracting foreign investment and as essential component of Spain’s international reputation.’
Spain’s economy, like many nations across the globe, has taken a battering as a result of the restrictions imposed as part of the response to Covid 19.
With international travel significantly disrupted over the last 15 months, it has greatly exposed the vulnerability and reliance on the tourism and hospitality sectors to the country’s economy.
As the government plans to recover and encourage the return of growth to all sectors, it is vital that not only does international tourism return, but that other aspects of the economy develop to broaden the country’s abilities to generate income and become more resilient to economic challenge.
The Leading Brands of Spain Forum was established in 1999, as a public-private alliance, consisting of over 100 of the main Spanish companies with leading brands in their respective sectors.
It was formed to promote the importance of branding, innovation and design to support the internationalisation of companies and improve the competitiveness of the Spanish economy.
By combining efforts to boost Spain’s brands and image, it is a collaboration that is considered even more important in the post-pandemic era than ever before.
Last year demonstrated that Spain needs to be leading in sectors other than ‘just’ tourism and as the campaign evolves it is hoped that it becomes a more prominent country in the international arena for business and investment.