According to de Benito these purposes, summarised in State policies, austerity in management and innovation in execution, must be demonstrated in the development of the main cores of the foreign policy of Spain. These, he affirmed, are divided in the traditional areas such as Europe, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and they are necessarily complemented with the growing committment towards Asia and the Pacific.
Regarding the region of Asia and the Pacific, the State Secretary began highlighting the determination of the Government to reinforce the Spanish presence in the countries that make up this region and in the will to continue expanding the network of representation in the area.
He mentioned the following of countries in the area:
China: He highlighted that the Government has had a fluid dialogue throughout these months with the Chinese authorities. “In May this year the President of the Permanent Commission of the National Parliamentary Assembly visited us and on the 18th of June the President of the Government had a meeting with President Hu Jintao at the G-20 Summit in Los Cabos and on the 20th the Vice President Sáenz de Santamaría had the chance to interview the Chinese President again and the responsible people for its economic team”. De Benito also said that in 2013 the forty years of the establishment of diplomat relations between the two countries will be commemorated between both countries and for this reason it is planned to hold important events, such as the 7th Spain-China Forum in Beijing and the visit of the President of the Government officially invited by the Chinese authorities.
Japan: He highlighted the good understanding with Spain and the Spanish people, which was already proved with the earthquake and subsequent tsunami occurred in March 2011. He stated that the Spain-Japan Forum will hold its 15th edition in Sevilla next November. Both countries work on the preparation of the Year of Spain in Japan, which will take place between 2013 and 2014 in commemoration of the bicentenary of the establishment of diplomate relations between both countries. This year's approach will have a strong economic and scientific-technological character to cover the cultural field and the promotion of a greater interrelation among the societies of both countries, the Secretary affirmed.
Republic of Korea: He informed of the next holding of the 7th edition of the Spain-Korea Dialogue Forum, jointly organised with Casa Asia that will be held in Seoul on the 26th and 27th of July. On this date the Day of Spain at the Yeosu International Exhibition will also be held, devoted to the oceans and coasts where Spain takes part in a pavilion where the expedition of Malaespina is recreated.
India: He said that the Government is developing a plan of relaunch of bilateral relations with this country. De Benito informed of his trip to India planned for next July in order to establish a calendar of visits and the signature of several bilateral agreements in the framework of the Spain-India agreement of 200. These agreements must serve to promote the Spanish presence in priority sectors for business and commercial cooperation.
Afghanistan: He referred to the NATO Summit in Chicago where a strategic plan for Afghanistan was adopted that establishes the bases of a new allied mission for the post 2014 period, exclusively focused on training the Afghan forces. Spain, de Benito assured, is satisfied with the results of the summit and is still firmly committed together with the rest of the allies with the stabilization and development of this country in this crucial period of transition.
Indonesia: The special interest in reinforcing bonds with Indonesia, reference speaker due to its political weight in the region and its economic potential, that has allowed it to become part of G-20. Our economic and commercial relations are increasing, he added, and there is an enormous growth potential as the interest of companies such as Indra, Repsol or Acerinox show. “To makle the most of this potential we enter the advanced phase of the negotiation of a political agreement that will institutionalise the periodical holding of high level bilateral contacts. Contacts that will be started in the next months”.
Vietnam: The interest in Spain also comes from this Southeast Asian country, one of the economic engines of Southeast Asia, and with the second highest growth rate after China. Owing to the recent visit of the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam, a business Forum with CEOE was held. The commercial relations with Vietnam has been increased throughout the last years and in 2011 the volume of commercial exchanges reached 1600 million Euros.
Philippines: He highlighted the strong bonds with the Philippines, where an ambitious joint programme for the reintroduction of Spanish language in regulated teaching and in October the 6th Spain-Philippines Dialogue Forum will be held in Manila. De Benito said that these bonds have also has an economic movement and many of the great companies of our country are present in the Philippines, such as Indra, Centunión, Getinsa or Grupo Pascual.
Finally, Gonzalo de Benito stood out the fact that economic and cultural diplomacy coincided with the “promotion of the Spain Brand”. The Ministry said that de Benito believes, as the other ministries involved in the promotion of the interests of Spain abroad, that this project will be important for the whole of the country. For this reason, the Government in its Board of Ministers of last 29th of June, appointed Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros as the High Commissioner for the Spain Brand. Espinosa belongs to the corps of Commercial Technicians and State Economists and, currently, he is President of Mutua Fraternidad-Muprespa and Vice President of Inditex.