Spain's image and situation "are less bad than a year ago," but employment, renewable energy and jump-starting the economy are still areas of concern, High Commissioner for Brand Spain Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros said.

Espinosa de los Monteros made his comments during the presentation of the 2013 Annual Foreign Action Plan for Brand Spain, which was approved last Friday by the Council of Ministers.

The plan covers all the activities to be undertaken by both the public and private sectors in promoting Brand Spain.

Spain's image "deteriorated" over the past three years, especially in Britain and Germany, while it improved in some countries in the Americas, such as Brazil, Mexico and Chile, Espinosa de los Monteros said.

There has also been an "increase in Spain's renown in the Asian world" even though the indexes are "very low," the Brand Spain high commissioner said.

"Some improvement" in Spain's image has been registered in recent months as concern over the macroeconomic situation dissipates, Espinosa de los Monteros said.

Unemployment and the inherent "risk of social conflict" that it carries, changes in renewable energy legislation that have created worries among investors and jump-starting the economy remain the main concerns about Spain, Espinosa de los Monteros said.

The Brand Spain high commissioner, who took office on July 12, 2012, said his agency was pursuing "a policy of state" and not a partisan agenda.

The goal for 2020 is to "secure an image of Spain as an economic and political power," with the Brand Spain Council and working groups focused on achieving this objective, the Brand Spain high commissioner said.

The Brand Spain Web site (www.marcaespana.es) has received 125,000 hits in less than six months and Spaniards living abroad, as well as volunteers from civil society in Spain, are helping promote the agency's agenda, Espinosa de los Monteros said.

The Annual Foreign Action Plan for Brand Spain will release an extensive study in 2014 on Spain's position in the leading international rankings and indexes, both on a global and industry-by-industry basis to measure the effects of the actions taken by the agency, Espinosa de los Monteros said. EFE