- Marca España
2017, a year full of Marca España talent, innovation, solidarity and diversity
The new year is coming, and this is a good time for a year-end review. Our nation brand – Marca España – has got stronger in our country and abroad, courtesy of our hard work. In the fields of medicine, gastronomy or culture, in 2017 Spain has witnessed achievement after achievement.
In 2017, our country secured one of the two places available at the United Nations Human Rights Council for the period 2018-2020. Therefore, as from 1 January, Spain will be a member of the world’s most relevant human rights body, as was previously from 2010 to 2013.
In the business department, six Spanish brands joined Brand Finance Global 500 in 2017: Banco Santander, Zara, BBVA, Movistar, Iberdrola and Repsol. The survey is conducted by Brand Finance, a leading branded business valuation and strategy consultancy that prepares an annual report on the world’s top 500 brands. The 2017 report includes the above-mentioned brands from Spain.
Pioneering healthcare system
Spain’s National Transplant Organisation has come to be the best symbol of Marca España. For one more year, organ donation rates continued to grow. In the first nine months of 2017, donations were 7% higher, which means our country has been a world leader in organ donation and life-saving surgeries for 25 years.
This was not the only good news in the health department. Catalan doctors José Moltó and Beatriz Mothe made a major contribution to the fight against HIV. They developed the first HIV vaccine therapy that stops HIV from replicating without the need to take antiretroviral drugs. Five patients from Barcelona who received this new therapy have kept the virus at bay for a long time. A further step in scientific progress taken by Spanish researchers.
We have a leading-edge health system, indeed. Proof of this is the first surgical procedure using a mixed reality headset, performed at Gregorio Marañón University Hospital. The Madrid-based medical centre, supported by Spanish firm Exovite, has thus become a pioneer in combining augmented reality and real surgery.
Nature and tourism
Spain is internationally renowned for its lovely seaside resorts and wonderful beaches. In 2017, they were awarded 684 Blue Flags, distributed among 579 beaches, 100 marinas and 5 boating tourism operators. This makes our country a global leader in Blue Flag beaches that meet stringent standards for water quality, safety, services and general environmental management criteria.
Moreover, Spain has lovely places you can visit on your own, since it was named the best place in the world for travelling alone in the 2017 Best Countries global rankings, based on quality of life, security, cultural heritage, environmental management and infrastructure.
Exploring the unrivalled culinary wealth of Spain is another reason for travelling to our country. Our chefs have been associated with innovation, creativity and the quality of locally grown ingredients. Spain’s culinary excellence has been recognised with the addition of 26 new stars given by the popular guidebook published by Michelin. Currently, there are 195 Michelin-starred restaurants in our country.
Kings of sports
In Spain, good news has continuously been around us in the sports world, but in 2017 there was a historical achievement: two Spanish tennis players climbed to the top of the world tennis rankings at the same time. The Rafa Nadal/Garbiñe Muguruza ‘two-headed monarchy’ has taken Spain on a journey to the summit of world tennis.
Another Spaniard who has left her mark in the history of international sports was motorcyclist Ana Carrasco. At 20, she was the first woman to win an individual world championship motorcycle race. Taking over her rivals at Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, in Portugal, she affirmed the relevance of women in sports.
Steady growth of the Spanish language
This past year, the Spanish language reaffirmed its international relevance. With more than 572 million people speaking Spanish, either as their mother tongue or as a second language, the globe population includes 7.8% Spanish speakers.
Moreover, according to the latest report by Instituto Cervantes, Spanish stands today as the second most spoken language in the world, in terms of both the number of native speakers (over 477 million) and the use for international communication.
Besides, Spanish is a favourite with students around the world. There are over 21 million students of Spanish as a foreign language. In fact, our language comes only after English in this regard, along with French and Mandarin Chinese.