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The executive committee of the Spain-India Council Foundation (SICF) presented the Spain-India Report 2020 to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Spain, Arancha González Laya. The event took place at the Palacio de Santa Cruz (Palace of Santa Cruz), official headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was attended by the Ambassador of India in Spain, Sanjay Verma.
Juan Ignacio Entrecanales, Vice-President of Acciona, holds the Presidency of the SICF and led the representation of the Foundation, which was completed with the two Vice-Presidents, Antonio Montes –Chief Relationship Officer, IE Business School - Financial Times, Corporate Learning Alliance– and Íñigo de Palacio –Global Director of Institutional Relations of Indra–, as well as the Secretary General of the Foundation, José Leandro Consarnau, and its director and deputy director, Berta Fuertes and Vega Yubero. On behalf of the Ministry, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Cristina Gallach; the Director-General of Economic Diplomacy, Luis Óscar Moreno; and the Director-General for North America, Eastern Europe, Asia and the Pacific, Ana María Sálomon were present.
The rest of the Foundation's board of trustees, made up of the main Spanish companies and institutions with interests in India, as well as representatives of the Public Administrations, were able to follow the meeting by videoconference.
In his presentation of the Report, the Chairman Juan Ignacio Entrecanales highlighted that the Foundation is honored to contribute to strengthening relations with a country like India, which the Government has identified as a priority for Spain. He explained that it is a comprehensive, holistic and updated work on bilateral relations, which aims to fill up the existing gap, which is, on occasions, a challenge when trying to seize opportunities between both countries.
The intention of the Foundation is to turn this report into the starting point of a more ambitious project, one that is constantly updated, also collaborative in nature and that allows to maintain an open window in the digital world to monitor Indo-Spanish relations.
The Vice-President of Acciona wanted to highlight that the sectoral documents that comprise it have been a unique opportunity to exercise public-private collaboration, so present and necessary in the Foreign Policy strategies of the Ministry.
Arancha González Laya supported this statement and thanked the Foundation for this initiative, both for the value of its contributions to bilateral relations, and for being one more confirmation of the undeniable importance of the work of the Council Foundation Network, which the Ministry has promoted for years and that are a common tool for companies, institutions and administrations to access in the best conditions and combining synergies with strategic countries outside the European Union.
The Minister highlighted how this report is an example that private initiative has not stopped despite the outbreak of the pandemic and that, in this uncertain global context, fostering greater understanding is essential. Economic diplomacy is one of the foreign policy lines of action of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the foreign sector will be, once again, the engine of recovery in the current economic crisis. For this reason, this Spain-India Report 2020 is also particularly relevant, a clear example of the commitment of the civil society to the foreign action of the State and the policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Both Arancha González Laya and the Indian Ambassador to Spain, Sanjay Verma, who also spoke at the event, referred to the rich existing bilateral relations and the fluid political dialogue. During the pandemic there have been both regular contacts between the Presidents of both governments, as well as between their counterpart Foreign Ministers and the Secretaries of State. Following this trend, Arancha González Laya will participate in the next Raisina Dialogue in April of this year. The Minister and the Ambassador agreed in their wish that the long-awaited visit of the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, to India can take place as soon as the pandemic allows.
The Indian Ambassador to Spain also wanted to express his satisfaction with the publication of the Report, which he described as necessary and extremely useful. He highlighted the work that the Embassy of India is doing to improve the knowledge of India in Spain, an objective that can be reinforced by this publication, and by the support the Embassy receives both from the Spain-India Council Foundation itself and from the members of his board of trustees.
For Sanjay Verma, not only in these difficult times, but over time, it has been shown that India and Spain can be partners and allies in several sectors and objectives of mutual interest, such as technology, infrastructure or defense and this report will be a new pillar on which to base this relationship with so much potential.
About the Spain-India Report 2020
The Spain-India Council Foundation is a non-profit entity with more than 10 years of experience in fostering and promoting our bilateral relations from a multisectoral perspective as a platform for civil society and public-private cooperation.
As a result of this trajectory and experience, and in collaboration with the Indo-Spanish Chamber of Commerce, the expert Cristóbal Alvear has produced a reference publication, aimed at creating bilateral knowledge maps in the main areas of interest; an analysis of our bilateral relations with a sectoral perspective; and ideas and proposals to boost our bilateral relations.
The publication consists of nine sectoral working documents, in which the main areas of bilateral cooperation are analyzed. At the end of each document there is a section with ten proposals aimed at promoting the relationship in their respective sector.
To consult the Spain-India Report 2020, click here.