Spain: Looking beyond the Bulls, Paella and Beaches: Geoff Ward Examines the New Zealand-Spanish Relationship and Predicts Closer Ties in Future

By Ward, Geoff | New Zealand International Review, November-December 2009 | Go to article overview

Spain: Looking beyond the Bulls, Paella and Beaches: Geoff Ward Examines the New Zealand-Spanish Relationship and Predicts Closer Ties in Future


Ward, Geoff, New Zealand International Review


Earlier this year, at the Davos Forum, an American businessman was quoted as saying: 'Spain? Bulls, paella, wine, tourism and an enormous crash. A high risk real estate hedge fund'.

These stereotypes probably pretty much sum up the average New Zealander's view of Spain too. A lot of New Zealanders have visited Spain and had a great holiday. But how many of them were aware that Spain has the eighth largest economy in the world?

This is a fundamental issue. With a few exceptions the New Zealand and Spanish business communities do not know each other. Of course, there are reasons for this. Spain's focus has long been on Latin America and the Mediterranean and in the last generation on integrating itself into European institutions and markets. New Zealand was a very distant and small market and we spoke English. We were little more than the intriguing and almost mystical notion of the Antipodes.

For New Zealanders, modern Spain is a very recent development. From the time it joined the European Union, it has blossomed into an open, tolerant, democratic, market-driven state, whose per capita GDP now exceeds that of Italy. For this period, when Spain has been looking to Europe for institutional linkages, commercial tie-ups and the answers to public policy challenges, our own business community, academics, scientists, politicians and policy-makers have been focused on northern Europe. In short, Spain has been overlooked.

But does this make sense? If we look at Spain's economy, the traditional sectors are agriculture, horticulture, viticulture, fishing and forestry. Does that sound familiar? If we look at new technologies we find that the Spanish government is putting investment and research dollars into biotechnology, bio-medicine, alternative energies, nanotechnology, information and communications technologies--with the objective of lifting Spain's research and development performance and driving its productive base into higher-tech and greater added-value industries. Does that sound familiar? When I visited Galicia, with its huge fisheries and aquaculture industries, I found scientists grappling with the causes and effects of marine toxins--red tides--on the shell fish industries and the impact of farm chemical runoffs on the marine industries. Does that sound familiar? With one or two exceptions I found too few signs of collaborative research between our respective scientists that could be of mutual benefit.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Equal ranking

I spent a lot of energy during my term as ambassador looking to stimulate and support science and research interactions. Spain and New Zealand rank virtually equal in tables on research and development spending--below the OECD average--but Spain is driving forward rapidly. Prime Minister Zapatero committed to increasing Spain's research and development budget 25 per cent per annum during his first term and has sustained increases to science spending despite the current economic downturn. Invariably, I found Spanish institutions were very keen on establishing links with New Zealand. Now is the time to do it. I was delighted that during the visit by the king and queen of Spain in June both countries expressed the 'will to broaden our collaboration in scientific and technological research for mutual benefit' and agreed to establish a three-year mobility programme, with each side provide funding of around $50,000 annually to support scientists in developing co-operation and joint research proposals.

With regard to the royal visit, I have to note that the New Zealand media are among those unable to look beyond the bulls and beaches. The significance of the visit went unremarked. It represented in fact a substantial commitment by both sides to broaden and intensify bilateral engagement and work together more closely on regional and international issues. Yet, how many of the general public learned about the new accord on science? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Spain: Looking beyond the Bulls, Paella and Beaches: Geoff Ward Examines the New Zealand-Spanish Relationship and Predicts Closer Ties in Future
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.