According to the Financial Times’ FDI Markets, Catalonia is the fourth region in Europe in terms of foreign investment attraction in 2015. In this regard, foreign investment in Catalonia reached 5.2 billion euros, the highest figure on record, only behind Scotland and another region in Russia.
With this investment volume, Catalonia climbs from the 16th position it held in 2014 to 4th place in 2015, ahead of countries such as Turkey or Ireland. In fact, last year Catalonia was the top western continental region in Europe in terms of foreign investment, placing itself in front of the Netherlands and France.
A record number of projects handled by the Catalan Government
The Catalan Government agency responsible for foreign investment attraction, Catalonia Trade & Investment, put 112 investment projects into practice for multinational firms in Catalonia during the 2014 and 2015 periods, representing an investment of 637.4 million euros. This is the two-year period with the highest figure of projects managed since the agency was established in 1985. In these two years, investment by these companies represented the creation and conservation of 10,152 jobs.
The profile of investing companies
Between 2014 and 2015, 38.4% of the foreign investment projects managed by Catalonia Trade & Investment were greenfield, in other words from multinationals without a prior presence in Catalonia. The second type of investment (22%) came from multinationals that already had some presence in Catalonia, while 19% were expansion projects.
Special mention must be made of the investments of multinationals in the ICT area (25.8%), a sector generating wealth and qualified jobs and with a high growth potential, clearly reflecting the driving force of Mobile World Capital for the Catalan economy. Also relevant are the investments in automation (15%), services (8%) as well as in food and drink, electronics, biotechnology and chemicals (5.3% respectively) and metallurgy and textile (4.5%). In terms of the value chain, in first place we find industrial-manufacturing projects (36.6%), followed by services (22.3%) and headquarters (12.5%).
The United States leads the list of countries for foreign investment projects in the 2014-2015 with 16.9% of the total. It is followed by France (11.6%), Japan (8%), China (7.2%), Germany (5.3%) and Switzerland (5.3%).