The president of Agencia EFE, Spain's international news agency, met with Spanish lawmakers Friday to present a plan aimed at consolidating the agency's position in the Americas even as it opens new markets in other parts of the world.

The strategy is built around the idea of using EFE's strengths, agency President Juan Antonio Vera told the parliamentary Budget Committee.

Those strengths, he said, include "brand image and credibility, our capacity for global coverage of multi-thematic content, our presence and influence in Latin America and the consolidated positioning in traditional news."

Besides expansion in the U.S. Spanish-language and Hispanic markets, the plan calls for efforts to build EFE's presence in retail markets with value-added products, to enter new media and specialized sectors and to offer customized products that allow client to reduce costs.

To accomplish those goals, EFE must remain one of the principal international news agencies and increase its influence, Vera said.

EFE also needs to become a principal news source for digital media, "without forgetting to pay attention to traditional media as long as they survive," the agency's president said.

The agency will continue its orientation to multimedia content, bolster its existing foreign-language services and create new ones, Vera said.

EFE will likewise continue developing on-demand products and will pursue additional collaboration agreements.

Vera pointed to the national and regional services the agency is now rolling out in the Americas and to EFE's successful bid for a contract to develop a specialized service for the Colombian government.

EFE is the world's No. 4 news agency and the largest Spanish-language service, with bureaus and correspondents throughout the world and a major presence in Latin America. EFE