Bilateral Profiles and National Agencies > Spain

General information on Spanish development cooperation

On December 2012 the IV Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation 2013-16 was approved by the Spanish government. The Master Plan is Spain’s main programming document and sets out Spanish international cooperation guidelines for the next four years.

According to the IV Master Plan, Spanish cooperation’s ultimate goals are to contribute to human development; to reduce poverty; and to ensure full implementation of these rights. To attain these goals, the guidelines for Spanish cooperation for the next four years involve the following issues:

  • Consolidating democratic processes and the rule of law;
  • Reducing inequalities and vulnerability to extreme poverty and crisis;
  • Promoting economic opportunities for the poor;
  • Promoting social cohesion systems, with special focus on basic social services;
  • Promoting women’s rights and gender equality;
  • Improving the provision of global and regional public goods;
  • Responding to humanitarian crises; and
  • Building a global citizenship committed to development.

The Master Plan aims at driving the process of an increasing specialization of Spanish cooperation over the next four years, trying to build a different balance, and accelerates the decision-making process:

  • In the first place, efforts will be focused and concentrated on the geographic areas where Spanish cooperation work clearly demonstrates added value, while promoting results-oriented development cooperation. There will be efforts towards multilateral concentration and alliances with other donors and key stakeholders in Spanish cooperation will be encouraged. The goal is to work together and to take advantage of synergies.
  • Cooperation will focus on institutional capacity building and knowledge transfer, particularly among middle-income countries.
  • Resource mobilization for development will be intensified, based on the Monterrey Consensus and its forthcoming Review Conference.
  • Finally, to be able to address new challenges more effectively, it is of vital importance to begin restructuring Spanish cooperation as a whole.

Aid for Trade (AfT) Strategy

The Government is aligned with the EU Aid for Trade Strategy and has, since the WTO Ministerial Conference in December 2005, focused its attention on the need for increased assistance to trade-related capacity building. It is also ensuring a greater integration of AfT activities in its bilateral aid, with the private sector as its key player, and is working on integrating two principles into its AfT activities: (i) pro-poor growth and respect for the principles of the Paris Declaration; and (ii) activities to be demand-driven and private sector-oriented. The main recipients of Spanish aid are the least developed countries (LDCs), but Spain also provides AfT to middle-income countries.

The Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation (2013-16) includes AfT as a priority within its third pillar, “Promoting economic opportunities for the poor”. Spanish cooperation is committed to promoting the integration of partner countries into the international economy through trade policies, capacity building, South–South economic integration and responsible foreign direct investment. Trade capacity in developing countries will be improved through AfT.

Last year’s reporting exercise (PACI 2011 follow-up report) demonstrated increased engagement by Spanish international cooperation in the trade agenda. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) marker methodology, AfT flows reached a total of €260.7 million in 2011, representing 14% of Spanish gross bilateral official development assistance (ODA). AfT continues to be implemented mainly through activities aimed at improving competitiveness in export markets. Building Productive Capacity represents the most important component of AfT, with high participation of the banking and industry sectors. Other categories, such as Trade Policy and Trade-Related Infrastructure, remain at lower levels: increasing support to these areas remains a challenge for Spanish cooperation. Africa accounts for the largest share of AfT from Spain (51.2% in 2011), followed by Latin America and the Caribbean (29.7%). Asia and the Middle East are still regions where Spanish AfT commitments are much lower.

Beyond the numerical approach using OECD/DAC markers, it is also important to point out the work carried out from the Policy Coherence for Development Unit, which is achieving greater influence of the development agenda on non-ODA economic and commercial policy, reinforcing their contribution to the promotion of sustainable human development.

Principal official agency responsible for TCB assistance to developing countries


The General Secretariat of International Cooperation for Development

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation

C/ Serrano Galvache, 26 Torre Norte 1ª planta

28071 Madrid, Spain



General Directorate of Trade and Investments

Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness

Paseo de la Castellana, 162

28046 Madrid, Spain

Tel: +34 91 3493656


The General Secretariat of International Cooperation for Development: assists the Secretary of State for International Cooperation and Latin America in the development, management, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of international cooperation policy for development.

Responsibilities of the Secretariat include, among others, the development of the Master Plan and Annual Plans of Spanish International Cooperation, the elaboration and monitoring in accordance with international principles of aid effectiveness of horizontal and sectoral development policies and bilateral and multilateral strategies, Spanish ODA follow up tasks and data communication to OECD/CAD, as well as the evaluation of international cooperation activities and projects financed by the Spanish Government.

Other government and official agencies with responsibilities directly relevant to TCB


Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID)

Avda. Reyes Católicos, 4

E-28040 Madrid, Spain

Tel: +34 91 583 8100; +34 91 583 8101/02

Fax: +34 91 583 8310/11/13; +34 91 583 8564


The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID): AECID is a semi-autonomous aid agency attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation through the State Secretariat for International Cooperation (SECI) . AECID was established by Law 23/1998, of July 7, with the objective of promoting, managing and implementing the Government of Spain’s international development cooperation. The fight against poverty is the ultimate objective of the Spanish policy of international cooperation for development. This is part of Spain’s foreign policy and is based on a conception of the interdependence and solidarity of international society. The Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set an agenda and a common methodology in the fight against poverty and are therefore the main references for Spanish international cooperation policy.

AECID manages the Fondo para la Concesión de Microcréditos (FCM) (Microfinance Fund for Basic Social Development Projects Abroad): FCM is a specialized microfinance fund, created in 1998 by the Spanish Government. It is the Spanish cooperation instrument aimed at promoting microfinance in developing countries as a tool for fighting poverty. FCM’s financial resources are allocated annually in Spain’s General State Budget Law. It also receives repayment of the loans and credits granted, plus interest and commissions and, in some cases, the yields generated by asset operation.

For more information:



C/ Príncipe de Vergara, 132

28002 Madrid, Spain

Tel: +34 91 562 6008

+34 91 745 4480

Fax: +34 91 561 0015




COFIDES is majority owned (61%) by the Spanish Government through different public institutions, namely the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX), the Institute for Official Credit (ICO) and the National Innovation Enterprise (ENISA). The remaining 39% is held by the three largest Spanish commercial banking groups (BBVA, SCH and Banco Sabadell). COFIDES operates by investing its own resources or mobilising third party funding from different instruments that it manages. It manages two Spanish Government trust funds established to support Spanish investments abroad (FIEX and FONPYME) and co-financing facilities established with multilateral financial institutions such as the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)/ Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) and the IDB/ Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC). COFIDES has supported projects in 48 different countries and has today a global investment capacity of €800 million with an upper limit per individual project of €25 million. It counsels potential investors to optimise the project financial scheme and gives advice on project-related environmental matters. Through its Representative Offices abroad in Beijing (China), Casablanca (Morocco) and Mexico D.F (Mexico), it also provides counsel in the pre-investment stages on issues of different kinds. COFIDES also makes available to investors the experience it has acquired in fifteen years of operations and offers institutional support to investments.

For more information:


International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP)

c/ Beatriz de Bobadilla, 18

28040 Madrid, Spain

Tel: +34 91 591 46 00



International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP): FIIAPP is an instrument of a foundational nature for external action in international development for democratic governance and institutional strengthening. It operates in the heart of and at the service of the public sector, mobilizing, internationally, the know-how of public officials and the best practices of the Spanish public administrations as a whole. FIIAPP was created in 1997 to manage cooperation projects for governance, financed with Spanish bilateral funds, mainly from the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), and multilateral funds, mostly from the European Commission, and to promote the participation of the Spanish administration in these. It also has various training programmes for political and social leaders, offers public technical assistance for state reforms and the updating of public administrations in Europe and the Mediterranean, Africa, Latin America and Asia, and sponsors research for strengthening institutions and promoting democratic governance.

For more information:


Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX - Instituto Español de Comercio Exterior)

Pº de la Castellana 14

28046 Madrid, Spain

Tel: +34 902 349 000


Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX - Instituto Español de Comercio Exterior): ICEX, part of the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade (Ministerio de Industria, Turismo y Comercio), serves Spanish companies by promoting their exports and facilitating their international expansion. For this purpose, it has its own financial, material and human resources. To effectively meet its objectives, ICEX is assisted by the network of Spanish Economic and Commercial Offices (Red de Oficinas Económicas y Comerciales de las Embajadas de España en el Exterior) abroad and, within Spain, by the Regional and Territorial Trade Directorates. Its main activities are to: (i) design and carry out commercial promotion and investment programmes in foreign markets; (ii) prepare and provide information on international markets and the Spanish products offered; and (iii) promote the teaching of technical skills to business people and the training of professionals in foreign trade. (See: “Master in International Corporate Management” (Centre for Economic and Commercial Studies, CECO)).

For more information:


Spain Business Overseas Office, Sociedad Estatal España, Expansión Exterior, S.A.

C/ Orense 58

28020 Madrid, Spain

Tel.: +34 91 210 07 00



Spanish Business Overseas Office, Sociedad Estatal España, Expansión Exterior, S.A.: Spain Business Overseas offers a wide range of services for transactions involving foreign trade and investments in companies, thereby contributing in further and more qualified Spanish presence in international markets.

Spain Business Overseas detects and creates business opportunities both on an export and investment level, by means of its human resources and local offices worldwide.

Spain Business Overseas designs and implements all types of innovative and customised financial solutions for export and investment projects.

For more information:

Other official or government trade-related organizations

Contact :

Spanish Confederation of Employers’ Organizations, Confederación Española 
de Organizaciones Empresariales, CEOE

C/ Diego de León, 50

28006 Madrid, Spain

Tel: +34 915663400 - +34 902884403



CEOE: is a Spanish institution founded in June 1977 that represents the Spanish business community. It includes state-owned and private companies in all sectors. It is a member of BusinessEurope

Contact :

Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO)

Paseo del Prado, 4

28014 Madrid, Spain

Tel.: +34 91 592 16 00


Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO): ICO is a state-owned corporate entity attached to the Ministry of Economy and Finance through the Secretariat of State for the Economy. It has the status of the State Financial Agency of Spain. ICO’s financing activity seeks to boost sectors such as the film industry and transport and to encourage technological innovation and renewable energy projects while helping Spanish enterprises set up abroad.

The Institute also plays a part in economic policy projects and helps to alleviate critical situations and natural disasters. At the same time, it provides backing for exports and, through the Microcredit Facility, grants loans to people who do not have access to normal financing channels. As a specialized credit institution, ICO provides medium and long-term financing for productive investments by enterprises established in Spain. In this area, it works in two ways: (i) mediation or second-floor loans: applications for loans are filed with banks and saving banks; and (ii) direct operations: enterprises apply to ICO directly for financing.

For more information:

Contact :

Spanish Association for Standardization and Certification, AENOR

C/ Génova, 6

28004 Madrid, Spain

Tel.: +34 914 326 000



AENOR: is the Spanish Association for Standardisation and Certification. It is a private, independent, non-profit Spanish organization, recognised nationally, in Europe, and internationally. Its aim is to contribute to the improvement of the quality and competitiveness of companies in their products and services, and to environmental protection and consequently to the well-being of society through the development, to which it is dedicated, of standardisation and certification (S + C) activities in all industrial and service sectors.

It was designated to carry out these activities by Order of the Ministry of Industry and Energy on 26 February 1986 in accordance with Royal Decree 1614/1985 and recognised as a standardisation body and to act as a certification body by Royal Decree 2200/1995, promulgated by Industrial Law 21/1992. Its presence at international forums, both European and American, guarantees Spanish participation in the development of standardisation and the international recognition of AENOR certification.

For more information:

Non-governmental organizations involved in TCB


Centre of Research and Cooperation for Development (CIDEAL)

C/ Blasco de Garay, 94.

28003 Madrid,

Spain Tel.: +34 91 553 84 88 / 91 554 64 02

Fax: +34 91 598 51 80



Centre of Research and Cooperation for Development (CIDEAL): CIDEAL is a foundation that has been working for over twenty years in research, training and technical assistance in development cooperation and has vast experience in the execution of development programmes and projects in Southern countries. Created in Madrid in 1983, it currently counts on local offices and experts in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East. As a research centre, it teaches postgraduate programmes and many monographic courses, seminars and workshops. From an economic and political standpoint, CIDEAL is an independent organization that encourages professional excellence and draws on experts from different ideologies. It was developed by professional researchers and professors from different European and Latin American countries and has, since its establishment, cooperated with the European Commission and successive Spanish governments, as well as with many public and private institutions of different kinds and orientations.

For more information: E-mail: and


ETEA Foundation for Development and Cooperation

Fundación ETEA para el Desarrollo y la Cooperación C/ Escritor Castilla Aguayo, 4 - 14004 Córdoba, Spain

Tel.: +34 957 222 164



ETEA Foundation for Development and Cooperation: The ETEA Foundation is a university centre working in research, training and action related to the field of development and cooperation. Created in 2002, it inherited the experience in development and cooperation activities of ETEA, the University Institution of the Society of Jesus in Córdoba, Spain. The ETEA Foundation´s principles for development and cooperation are:

  • analysing and acting on the critical factors pertaining to development at local and global levels;
  • contributing to the strengthening of the system in order to aid development and improve the quality of cooperation;
  • contributing to the creation of human capital and the strengthening of academia in the South; and
  • giving priority to development and cooperation with Northern universities in the field of teaching and research.

For more information: E-mail: and

TCB cooperation initiatives with UN/International agencies and bilateral partners

UNIDO’s Industrial Knowledge Bank (BCI) in Latin America and Caribbean countries

The Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AECID) provided support to UNIDO’s Industrial Knowledge Bank (BCI) . The project aims to promote industrial development in Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) countries, contributing to production and industry integration process and facilitating the exchange of knowledge and best practices for LAC countries.

Selected TCB programmes and initiatives in this guide


  • The Interamerican micro-enterprise forum (Foromic)
  • Promotion of southern cone cooperative movements as social inclusion tools and decent work instrument and as agents of development


  • WTO Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund (DDAGTF)
  • Projects within the framework of MERCOSUR permanent regional observatory of productive integration


  • Development of aquaculture activities in the Fonseca Gulf, Honduras
  • Strengthening installed capacities of seed and basic grains of UPANIC, small and middle western producers, Nicaragua
  • NEEM FOUNDATION, Multipurpose trees plantation for the improvement of food Security, Vegetable protection and health,Ethiopia
  • CETMAR, Development of rural aquaculture as a strategy for the contribution on the fight against poverty and food security in the Namuno District, Mozambique
  • Enlargement of water infrastructures for the improvement of food production, Ethipioa
  • Contribution to the potential agriculture development and appreciation of usable land in the Saint Louis region, Senegal
  • Resistance to plagues in beans and peas for Mediterranean unirrigated lands, Tunisia
  • Implementation of capacities in the analysis of value and innovation chains in the food area in Tunisia and Spain
  • Qualification and research on geographic information technology for the improvement of sustainability of the agricultural activities and the preservation of natural resources in subtropical areas of Argentina
  • Bio-recovery of agriculture soils in Tunisia polluted with pesticides using leguminous plants and micro-organisms of its rhizosphere
  • Improving the teaching and research capacity regarding the comprehensive management of plagues in the citrus cultivations, Argelia
  • Development strategies of the Tunisian oleic sector: organization, valuation and information and communication technologies (TICS).,Tunisia
  • Research project for the improvement of goat cattle in northern Morocco
  • “Small scale” milk production as a way of fostering economic development in the Altiplano Central, Mexico
  • The cooperative enterprise as a social economy actor towards social and economic development in the Mediterranean


  • Assistance to the business association of vegetable export producers of Ethiopia


  • Internship for Latinamerican harbour professionals – Latin America


  • Upgrading and rehabilitation of airports and civil aviation infrastructure in Namibia
  • Design, supply, installation and operation of a system for maritime traffic, enabling Cape Verde to ensure greater security in the coastal zone, Cape Verde
  • Telecommunication system for a railway hub, Bangladesh
  • Enlargement of the fishing port of Nouadhibou, Mauritania
  • Enlargement of the high speed railway line Ankara-Istanbul, Turkey
  • Supply of components for the construction of 26 bridges in Ghana
  • Urban traffic integral security and control systems of Shanxi, China


  • Spain-IIC Haiti SME Development Fund