Asia is a heterogeneous continent, with a great diversity of levels of economic development, cultural traditions and social and political models. The increase in its population and the incorporation of millions of people into its productive activity, consumption and global economic networks are probably the most striking case of power transfer from the Western world to the emerging countries since the end of the 19th Century.
Today, the region is home to more than half the world's population and produces a third of our planet's wealth. It is predicted that by 2050 more than half of global production will come from this continent. Moreover, Asia is a leading centre of science, technology and innovation, with a global weight that will grow quantitatively in the coming years.
Owing to its very size and dynamism, Asia is a continent from which no country in the world that intends to play a leading role in contemporary global dynamics can be absent. Therefore, Spain's commitment to an increasingly better insertion in the political, economic, scientific and social dynamics that have Asia at their centre makes it necessary for Spain to strengthen its presence in the region and to equip itself with the instruments of analysis and action adapted to the new realities in Asia and the Pacific Region that will allow us to reinforce results in all areas.
Inauguration of 14th meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers of the Asia-Europe Cooperation Forum (ASEM), in Spain (2019). Photo: MAEC
With this aim, in January 2018 the Strategic Vision for Spain in Asia 2018-2022 was approved, it analyses recent developments in Asia and Spain, as well as the challenges and opportunities in the coming years. It also makes a series of recommendations to the Public Administrations to update Spain’s foreign policy in the region.
Spain has also established relations with East Asia one of the pillars of its foreign policy. This has led to closer ties with countries such as China, Japan and South Korea. Political contacts are commonplace, economic relations have multiplied and links between civil societies are growing. In addition, Spain has included the countries that make up the Central and South Asian regions in the parameters of its foreign policy, with an increasingly active approach. With respect to the Southeast Asian countries, bilateral relations have increased both quantitatively and qualitatively and the political agenda has been intensified.
With respect to Spain's relations with the South Pacific, it should be stressed that our country has returned to the region after a long absence and maintains diplomatic relations with all the States thereof. Spain is currently pursuing an active policy that has led it to be considered a "dialogue partner" at the Pacific Islands Forum Summits.