King Juan Carlos and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in conjunction with the the Carolina Foundation aim to improve of Spain's image throughout Latin America and push a "Brand Spain."

A meeting was held Tuesday to discuss strategies.  Attending the meeting at Zarzuela Palace were former Colombian President Andres Pastrana and Uruguay's Julio Maria Sanguinetti, together with members of the Spanish government and 15 executives from Spain's leading companies.

The board approved the 2012 action plan for the foundation, established in the year 2000 to promote cultural relations and cooperation in the educational and scientific fields between Spain and the countries of the Ibero-American community of nations, as well as with other countries with which it has particular historical, cultural or geographic ties.

The foundation is currently developing two programs: one that is educational and the other called the "international visitors program."

The first has the goal of broadening the education of university graduates by creating and updating specialized studies for postgraduates, teachers, researchers and professionals from Ibero-America.

The second program targets people with prospects of influencing the future of their respective countries, who are offered, either individually or as a group, trips to Spain so they can make contact with Spanish institutions operating within their spheres of interest and learn directly the realities of the country.

This year the Carolina Foundation has undertaken a "severe reduction" of expenses.

Foundation officials said that the institution nonetheless hopes to continue doing specialized work with priorities that include helping to improve and promote Brand Spain around the world.

Since 2000, the Carolina Foundation has invested more than 110 million euros ($134.68 million) in training, with the awarding of more than 13,000 scholarships. 

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