Asia is a heterogeneous continent, with a great diversity in economic development levels, cultural traditions and socio-political models. The increase in its population and the incorporation of millions of people into its productive activity, consumption and global economic networks is probably the most striking case of the transfer of power from the Western world to the emerging countries since the end of the 19th century.
Today, the region encompasses more than half of the world's population and produces a third of our planet's wealth. By 2050, more than half of global production is expected to 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.
Because of its sheer size and dynamism, Asia is a continent from which no country can afford to be absent if it wishes to play a leading role in contemporary global dynamics. Thus, Spain's commitment to an increasingly better insertion in the political, economic, scientific and social dynamics that revolve around Asia calls for the strengthening of our presence in the region and for our country to equip itself with the instruments of analysis and action adapted to the new realities in Asia and the Pacific that will allow us to reinforce results in all areas.
Spain recognises the centrality of the Indo-Pacific and has chosen to be an active player in the implementation of the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, officially launched in September 2021, whose central axes are the interdependence between both regions and their economies, the joint fight against climate change, as well as the importance of defending democracy and human rights in this region of the world. To this end, an Ambassador-at-Large for the Indo-Pacific was appointed in January 2022 to study how Spanish interests can be integrated into the priorities of the European Strategy, to provide added value, and to join forces so that Spain and the EU can play a leading role in the Indo-Pacific.
Spain has also turned relations with East Asia into one of the pillars of its foreign policy. This has led to a rapprochement with countries such as China, Japan and South Korea. Political contacts are commonplace, economic relations have multiplied and links between civil societies are growing. Moreover, Spain has included the countries that make up the Central Asia and South Asia regions in the parameters of its foreign policy, with an increasingly active approach, considering the relevance of major regional powers such as India. With regard to Southeast Asian countries and ASEAN member countries, bilateral relations have increased both quantitatively and qualitatively and the political agenda has intensified, not forgetting in particular the Philippines, with which we have so many historical and cultural ties.
With regard to Spain's relations with the South Pacific, it should be noted that our country has returned to the region after many years of absence and maintains diplomatic relations with all the States, specially important is that with Australia and New Zealand due to their geopolitical weight in the area. Spain is currently pursuing an active policy as a “dialogue partner” in the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF).