Foreign investment in industry

Eighty percent of foreign investment attracted by the Catalan Agency for Business Competitiveness (ACCIÓ) in 2019 went to industry, particularly the pharmaceutical, automotive and chemical and plastics sectors. If the value chain is analysed by number of projects rather than volume of investment, industry again accounts for the largest share of foreign investment, with 20.2% of total projects, the same as services. Other areas that attracted investment were ICT projects (19%), R&D (14.3%) and logistics (7.1%). The most significant sectors (again in terms of the number of projects) were ICT–digital transformation (32.1%); the pharmaceutical industry (9.5%); logistics, e-commerce and distribution (8.3%); and food and gourmet products (7.1%).

Investment by companies without a previous presence in Catalonia

Almost half (47.6%) of foreign investment projects in 2019 were undertaken by companies that were not previously established in Catalonia (i.e. greenfield investment). This shows Catalonia’s potential to continue attracting new investors. Investment in new products by companies already established in Catalonia (22.6% of the total) and expansions (20.2%) were the other main types of investment. The countries that accounted for the largest shares of foreign investment were the United States (17.9% of total projects), Germany (16.7%) and France (13.1%).

ACCIÓ offices worldwide: main gateway for investment

Foreign investment was attracted through ACCIÓ’s network of 40 foreign trade and investment offices worldwide (22.6% of total projects), followed by aftercare meetings (13%) – follow-up visits by ACCIÓ specialists to foreign companies already established in Catalonia.