Miguel Sebastián announced a new "Made in/by Spain" Plan for Russia during the 7th Mixed Hispano-Russian Committee being held on Wednesday in Moscow.
The Plan, inspired by the successful "Made in/by Spain" project being developed in the US, is aimed at improving the perception of Spain in Russia through the increased promotion of the image of Spanish products, services, companies and brands and by supporting the market penetration strategy adopted by Spanish companies in Russia.
The Government believes aiming this initiative at the Russian market is a good move because it is a region where Spanish companies and products have strong growth potential and where Spain has a long-standing image of a modern, industrialised country. Furthermore, the organisation in 2011 of the Year of Spain in Russia and of Russia in Spain (something that will foster the organisation of special events to increase mutual knowledge between the two countries) is an opportunity to increase the knock-on effect and profit from the actions contained within the "Made in/by Spain" Plan.
On 14 September 2009, the President of the Spanish Government, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, and the Russian President, Dmitri Medvedev, decided at a meeting held in Yaroslavl that 2011 would be the Year of Spain in Russia and of Russia in Spain.
The "Made in/by Spain" Plan for Russia which will be implemented between 2011 and 2012 includes more than 70 events over the twelve months in such sectors as the agro-foods, consumer goods and industry and technology and will involve cities such as Moscow and St Petersburg.
For 2011, participation at various trade fairs with official pavilions has been scheduled, more than twenty trade missions have been organised and several business meetings have been set up, as well as other events such as the Spanish gastronomy weeks, a Spanish fashion conference and the presentation of national business schools.
One of the pillars of the Plan's strategy is to involve companies, sectoral associations, the autonomous regions and other sectors in joint finance for these actions. The estimated budget amounts to 20 million euros in 2011 and 18 million euros in 2012, with financing from the central Government of 50% via the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX). The rest will be provided by the autonomous regions, companies and other institutions.
Russia has all the ingredients required for the "Made in/by Spain" Plan to be a success: it is a very large market (140 million inhabitants), it has 12 cities with more than one million inhabitants, a population with a growing spending power (135,000 people have wealth in excess of one million euros) and holds the third largest reserves of natural resources in the world, quoted at 490,000 million dollars.
Furthermore, the country presents good growth prospects for the future. According to IMF forecasts, its GDP will grow by 4% in 2010, by 4.3% in 2011 and by 4.4% in 2012.