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Spain country brief

Key engagement

Spain (EU, OECD, HRC, NATO, G20) and Australia have shared values, strong multilateral cooperation and growing levels of trade and investment.


Our common focus on constructive multilateral engagement and strengthening the rules based order provides a basis for ongoing close cooperation. Positive momentum on trade and investment, people-to-people links and defence ties will continue to drive growth in the relationship.

Bilateral relations

Australia and Spain enjoy a diverse and deepening bilateral relationship based on growing commercial links, a shared commitment to the international rules based order and defence cooperation. People-to-people links between Spain and Australia have been bolstered by the Work and Holiday visa arrangement. Trade and investment has experienced steady growth and the Australia-EU FTA (under negotiation) will provide further opportunities. We work together in the multilateral arena to promote free and rules-based trade, human rights, gender equality and inclusive economic growth.

Foreign policy

Spain’s foreign policy traditionally focuses on the European Union (EU), the Mediterranean and Latin America. It has growing commercial interests in the Indo-Pacific. The Australian and Spanish Governments support growing trade and investment links by maintaining policy dialogue on areas of interest, including the infrastructure and renewable energy sectors.

Australia’s foreign policy is guided by the Foreign Policy White Paper.

Fast Facts

  • Spanish visitors to Australia (2018/19) — 47,900
  • Australian visitors to Spain (2018/19) — 95,500
  • Resident Australian population born in Spain (2016 census) — 15,391
  • Australian residents of Spanish descent (2016 census) — 119,952
  • Spanish working holidaymakers (2018/19) — 2,286
  • Spanish students in Australia (2018) — 6,349

High level engagement

  • 2020 — Australia and Spain’s Foreign Ministers held two virtual meetings to discuss gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in a COVID world
  • 2019 — Energy Minister Taylor visited Spain for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25)
  • 2018 — Australia’s former Governor-General Cosgrove and former Minister for Regional Development McVeigh visited Spain
  • 2017 — Spain’s former Defence Minister de Cospedal visited Australia

Agreements with Spain

  • Arrangement Concerning Petroleum Stocks Contracts
  • Extradition Treaty
  • Treaty on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters
  • Agreement on Cultural, Educational and Scientific Cooperation
  • Double Taxation Agreement
  • Social Security Agreement
  • Air Services Agreement
  • Agreement for the Mutual Protection of Classified Information of Defence Interest
  • Defence Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding
  • Work and Holiday Visa Memorandum of Understanding

Public diplomacy

TThe Australian Embassy in Madrid manages a diverse public diplomacy program. The program supports the Embassy’s efforts to highlight key priorities in areas such as economic diplomacy, gender equality and human rights, and includes the promotion of art, Indigenous heritage and people-to-people links.

Activities are designed to increase recognition of contemporary Australia in Spain by demonstrating Australia’s diversity and creativity. The Embassy has recently showcased contemporary Australian films, collaborated with large cultural festivals and organised exhibitions of Indigenous art

Australian Embassy in Madrid
Torre Espacio
Paseo de la Castellana, 259D, Planta 24
Madrid 28046
Tel: +34 91 353 6600
Consular Services:

Economic diplomacy

Our economic relationship with Spain is significant and growing. Spain was Australia’s 25th largest goods and services trading partner in 2019. Total two-way trade in 2019 was $3.9 billion, dominated by goods imports from Spain ($2.7 billion).

Australian investment in Spain is significant, with total stock valued at $9.9 billion in 2019. Spanish investment in Australia was valued at $1.1 billion. Major Spanish companies are active in Australia with a strong focus on infrastructure and renewable energy.

More economic and trade information can be found in the Spain Country Fact Sheet.


Spain is a member of the European Union (EU) and is subject to EU trade and regulatory requirements. Spain has global expertise across all five of Australia’s investment priorities, in particular the infrastructure, resources and energy sectors where Spain is a key investor. Australian investment in Spain primarily focuses on the infrastructure and energy and resources sectors.

Until the COVID-19 crisis, Spain was identified by Austrade as one of the fastest European growth source markets for English language courses (ELICOS) in Australia. The National ELICOS Market Report (published 2019), ranked Spain among the top 10 global source markets for ELICOS education in Australia.


Austrade’s Madrid Office aims to attract foreign direct investment into Australia, and promotes the Australian education sector.

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