The Spanish Foreign Trade Institute (ICEX), an Agency of the Ministry of Commerce and Tourism, is responsible for diversified government-funded foreign market promotion programs for food and agricultural products, as well as for promotion of other non-food and agricultural items such as industrial products, consumer goods, and designer clothing. In addition, some of Spain's regional autonomous governments have trade promotion offices that cooperate with ICEX. The government of Spain has maintained its overall budget for trade promotion of food products at about $47 million for 1996. (Government funding for ICEX includes fixed and operating costs.) One industry project is estimated at $500,000.
ICEX promotional activities for agricultural products include sponsorship of and participation in trade fairs, point-of-sale promotions, market research, trade missions, training, and direct assistance to exporters. The Institute's promotional activities abroad are supported by 11 promotional centers, seven of which promote food and beverages. These organizations are located in New York, Toronto, Dusseldorf, The Hague, London, Paris, and Milan. In addition, ICEX promotes agricultural products through 80 trade offices around the world. ICEX has strengthened itself by forming a consortium with five firms in the food and agriculture sector in an effort to consolidate sales strategy and advertising efforts.
In 1995, ICEX participated with official pavilions in 14 international food promotional events, including the U.S. Fancy Food Fair in New York and ANUGA in Germany. Other ICEX activities in 1995 included 5 major group trade missions as well as a food sector information stand in various food shows. In addition, ICEX took direct part in a Rias Baixas wine trade mission to the U.S. and indirectly took part in an additional 35 trade missions as follows: 29 to other EU markets, 3 to the U.S., 2 to Japan and 1 to Australia. A meat and meat products market survey mission to the U.S. was also carried out.
During 1996, ICEX is expected to provide promotional support covering 32 different Spanish food sectors. Wine, olive oil, meat and meat products, processed vegetables, and fresh fruit are the main food sectors promoted by ICEX this year. Some of Spain's regional autonomous governments also maintain trade promotion offices. They have worked rather independently of ICEX in the past. However, the GOS is now seeking coordination of all Spanish promotion activities to avoid overlaps and to reduce promotional expenditures. Consequently, the GOS recently restructured ICEX to include representatives of these regional trade offices on the ICEX board. Information on promotional expenditures of these regional autonomous governments is not available.
In 1992, the Spanish Foreign Cooperation Association (ACEX), a leading private export promotion group, was created with the objective of opening additional markets in emerging countries. ACEX, which in March of 1993 had a membership of 21 associates, is mainly comprised of food industry members. ACEX members create and share information on international food markets.
ACEX received matching funds (about $0.5 million) in order to set up a food storage/distribution center in Moscow/Russia. The center aims to develop markets for meat, dairy, fruit and vegetable products. In addition, there is another food storage/distribution center planned for Shanghai.
In addition, the Madrid-based International Olive Oil Council (IOOC), primarily focuses on promotion of olive oil and table olives for all olive producing countries. Although the IOOC is an international organization, the Spanish olive industry directly benefits from IOOC worldwide marketing programs that are funded in part by the Government of Spain through payment of its IOOC membership dues. No funding information is available for the IOOC.