This is the balance of the Catalonia Trade & Investment unit, the ACCIÓ responsible area of foreign investment attraction in the Catalan Government. Therefore, during 2020 a total of 77 projects have been closed in Catalonia, which has meant the creation of 2,278 jobs and the maintenance of 1,144 more jobs.
Tremosa has confirmed that “despite the unfavorable context due to the pandemics, results for foreign investment attraction by the Catalan Government have been very relevant: there have been attracted €480 millions, the fourth best figure in the historical line”. He has highlighted that during the pandemics it has been possible “to provide a very encouraging result for Catalan economy” given that, moreover, there are 440 open projects of investment at the moment.
Tremosa has confirmed that 53% of materialized projects in 2020 have technologic character, what “confirms that Barcelona has a relevant role as emerging hub in this sector, key for 21st century economic activity”. He has explained that the strategy for attracting foreign investments “presents a very clear return and has become high quality public service: for each euro from public budget dedicated to investment attraction, 166 euros have been gained from foreign investment”.
The investor’s profile
The Executive Director of ACCIÓ, Joan Romero, has highlighted that “during the pandemics year we have achieved very good results, as ACCIÓ attracted every day from last year €1.3 millions of foreign investment”. Romero has affirmed that “these are figures that reflect Catalonia’s potential as location to attract foreign investments, a tendency that has increased over the last few years”. In fact, if we analyze wider periods to avoid the volatile effect of foreign investments, the volume of investment attracted by ACCIÓ in the last five years (2016-2020) has achieved €1,759 millions, 23% more than the previous five years period (2011-2015).
ACCIÓ Executive Director has also wanted to focus on the fact that “from the €480 millions from foreign investment during 2020, 87% corresponds to industrial projects”. From the sectorial point of view, a balance between more emerging and traditional sectors has been detected. Therefore, the list is led by TIC and digital transformation projects (with 32,5% of the total), cars and motorcycles industry (9,1%) and food and gourmet products (6,5%).
In terms of countries, investments by companies from France (14.3% of the projects), the United Kingdom (13.0%) and Japan (10.4%) stand out. If the investor profile is analyzed, first of all, it can be seen that in 2020, half (50.6%) of the projects are greenfield projects, companies that had no previous presence in Catalonia. This is followed by companies already present in Catalonia, which are making expansions (19.5% of the total) or new investments (15.6%).
Public support for productive investment
ACCIÓ provides comprehensive advice to foreign companies to facilitate the process of setting up in Catalonia. The objective is to help new multinationals to invest in Catalonia at the same time that those already present in the region, carry out expansions and reinvestments. We work from the promotion of Catalonia abroad, the joint preparation of applications for companies to carry out investments in Catalonia, the comprehensive advice throughout the investment process and the follow-up once it has materialized.
In this sense, for every euro of public budget dedicated to attracting foreign investment, 166 euros of foreign investment have been attracted. The main entry point for projects has been the network of 40 ACCIÓ Foreign Trade and Investment Offices around the world, which have attracted almost half (47%) of the projects.
The Government has adapted its strategy for promoting and attracting investment to the Covid and post-Covid scenario, taking into account which sectors have emerged stronger from this crisis and which allow Catalonia to gain resilience and competitiveness. In this sense, promotion plans are being implemented in the areas of mobility of the future, the health-biotech sector, food and logistics. Work is being done to encourage projects in the industrial and technological field and in the areas of sustainability and the circular economy.
The Government began working to attract foreign investment in 1985, since when 1,285 foreign investment projects have materialized, with an investment of more than 10,200 million euros and the creation of more than 61,000 jobs.