Spanish authors' and publishers' society SGAE and the industry and trade ministry are planning to join forces in an attempt to raise the profile of Spanish music repertoire in China.

Fundación Autor, SGAE's promotional arm, and the ministry's foreign commerce institute ICEX, on Friday (July 6) presented a 95-page report called "Opportunities for Spanish Music in China," which analyzes recent changes in the Chinese music industry with relation to foreign companies and artists.

"We have plans to increase the presence of Spanish repertoire in China through the creation of joint ventures between Spanish music companies, including SGAE, and local agents," says Francisco Galindo, secretary general of Fundación Autor and SGAE's director of corporate affairs.

Juan Miguel Márquez, director of the ICEX services promotion division, says ICEX has been working with SGAE at international music fairs such as Midem in France and Popkomm in Germany since 2002.

"And we are aware that in China, as elsewhere, ICEX must focus on business realities as well as promoting Spanish artists to help export Spanish music."

Galindo points out that 2007 is "The Year of Spain in China", with dozens of cultural acts, including flamenco music and dance concerts, performing in the world's most populous country.

"China is still in great measure a virgin market," he says. "The only Spanish music known among the Chinese public is flamenco, [opera singer] Placido Domingo, Julio Iglesias and his son Enrique. But the key element is that the Chinese public has a lot of curiosity to know more about international culture and music."

Galindo adds there are no specific plans as yet for 2008 and beyond. "We must be prudent and careful, and the project we are drawing up will be elaborated slowly and systematically. Our first priority will be to secure intellectual property protocols, which we are working on with Chinese authorities in Shanghai."

SGAE opened an office in Shanghai four years ago.