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Catalan exports set a new historic record in 2023, surpassing 100 billion euros for the first time

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Catalan exports set a new historic record in 2023, surpassing 100 billion euros for the first time

  1. Exports have reached the highest figure since records began, surpassing Catalan Government forecasts, with a growth of 6.1% in 2023, reaching over 100.68 billion euros
  2. The Minister for Business and Labour, Roger Torrent i Ramió, claimed that “these figures show the resilience, dynamism and adaptability of the Catalan business fabric”

Catalan exports grew by 6.1% in 2023 and for the first time exceeded 100 billion euros, standing at a little over 100.68 billion euros. This is the highest figure since records began according to calculations by ACCIÓ, the Ministry of Business and Labour’s agency for business competitiveness, based on the data published today by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism. The figures are one percentage point above the forecasts made by the Catalan Government last October.

Catalan exports 2013-2023, SOURCE:Catalan Government, based on ICEX-Estacom

As a result, of all the autonomous communities, Catalonia is the highest contributor to Spain’s exports, accounting for 26.2% of the total. Moreover, 2023 witnessed the highest number of regular exporting companies – those that have exported consecutively for the last four years – standing at 17,757, which is 1.6% more than the previous year.

According to the Minister for Business and Labour, Roger Torrent i Ramió, “these figures show the resilience, dynamism and adaptability of the Catalan business fabric, which has been able to overcome a 2023 full of uncertainties and difficulties on a global scale”. According to Torrent, “this is a credit not only to the companies and their innovative and competitive projects, but also to the Catalan Government’s support policies in the process of internationalisation of companies in an environment of deceleration”. In this regard, the Minister for Business and Labour stated that “the projects managed by ACCIÓ’s foreign offices have increased by 36% in 2023 compared to the previous year”.

Indeed, the growth of exports in Catalonia during 2023 was higher than that of global foreign trade as a whole, which the World Trade Organization (WTO) places at 0.8%. And this contrasts with the fall in both the rest of Spain (-1.4%) and the eurozone (-3.4%).

The automotive sector is driving the growth in exports

By sector, the growth of Catalan sales abroad is particularly notable in the automotive sector (+39.1%), capital goods (+5.5%), foodstuffs (+4.3%) and chemical products (+3.8%). Exports in 2023 were mainly destined for the European Union (+7.6%) and the Americas (+16.8%).

By country, markets such as France (+2.7%) stand out, combined with significant growth in markets such as Germany (+10.4%) and Poland (+25.7%). Beyond the common market, Catalan sales abroad have also experienced significant growth in the United Kingdom (+13.2%), Turkey (+36%), Morocco (+9.3%), Vietnam (+21.3%) and Australia (+12.9%).