U.S. Hispanic media may bolster Spain’s economy, image

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    Dr. Salomon Melgen and Francisco Sanchez

    Dr. Salomon Melgen with Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Francisco Sanchez. (Voxxi Photo)

    A group of U.S. and Spanish business and civic leaders are convinced that closer ties and trade between the two countries can help lift Spain out of its economic crisis and improve the nation’s image internationally.

    Hispanic media will play a very large role in that partnership and VOXXI is at the head of the game, said Dr. Salomon Melgen, who spoke at the U.S.-Spain Council annual forum last weekend.

    “America has been enriched by Spain’s culture and legacy,” said Dr. Salomon Melgen, chairman of VOXXI’s Board of Directors. “American Hispanics celebrate this heritage and as the largest and fastest growing demographic, we are strongly committed to our country, America, but also maintain strong ties to our roots.”

    The three-day event in Jersey City and Hoboken (NJ) focused on opportunities that offer tremendous potential in the U.S.-Latino market and how new multimedia companies like VOXXI are changing the traditional landscape of mainstream media.

    As Spain’s economy struggles, Melgen expressed his conviction about the future of a country with plenty of human resources to recover in the short term and vitality to be a worldwide leader. And, he said, there couldn’t be a more important time to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Spain

    “We have a unique opportunity both to bolster our political and commercial relations and promote and improve Spain’s image in the United States,” Melgen said, reminding the forum participants that Spain had shaped the economic, social and cultural development of the U.S. and played a pivotal role in the establishment and growth of the vibrant American Latino community.

    Now, it is time to give back, he said, adding that Hispanic America opens up a massive market not only for corporate America but also for corporate Spain, as Latinos are a primary driver of economic growth and the gateway to the U.S. market.

    Today, about one in six Americans is of Hispanic descent. Hispanic purchasing power is estimated to reach as much as $1.3 trillion by 2015.  And measured in purchasing power, the U.S. Hispanic market would be one of the top 20 economies in the world.

    Technology and innovation are key drivers of this growth and American Hispanics, many of them young, are avid technology users — both social and mobile — and are poised to become pioneers in setting new media trends.

    It’s not in the future any longer, Melgen and others said. Today, Latinos are shaping the economic and political landscape in the United States.

    United States-Spain Council Forum.

    Their Royal Highness the Princes of Asturias and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the XVII Annual United States-Spain Council Forum.

    “Yet, despite the numbers, from main street to Wall Street to Hollywood, mainstream media continues to misrepresent and stereotype Latinos,” Melgen said.

    That may change as American Latinos flex their muscle and exercise their political, social and economic clout in order to shape policy, politics and economics in this country – in this election year and beyond. And as Latinos access the principal influencers of this nation — corporate, political and cultural — with a powerful news media.

    “With a multimedia outlet like VOXXI at its side, companies and other organizations from the U.S. and Spain can reach this market in the four corners of our great country,” Melgen said, ending his comments on how Spain can use the website — which is the Hispanic voice of the 21st Century, producing, distributing and integrating multimedia content in English — to introduce and improve not just Spanish companies and products, but the country as a solid financial ground to walk on.

    “Stereotypes not only about Latin America but also about Spain are pervasive in American public opinion and the mainstream media,” Melgen said.

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