Attracting foreign investment to Catalonia

Catalonia Trade & Investment is the Catalan Government’s agency for foreign investment and business competitiveness. It promotes innovation, internationalisation, trade and funding of Catalan companies and startups. It also organises trade missions in countries chosen strategically for their business and technology cooperation opportunities.

In addition, it offers specialised one-stop-shop services to international investors and corporations, attracting foreign direct investment to Barcelona and Catalonia. Headquartered in Barcelona, Catalonia Trade & Investment operates from 40 offices around the world, covering more than 100 markets.

Annual Report 2018

For the eighth year running, in 2018 Catalonia Trade & Investment has attracted a record number of investment projects in Catalonia with a total of 84 projects, a 20% increase compared to the previous year. Total investment added up to €322.3M, a figure that is 34% higher than in 2017. In job creation, Catalonia Trade & Investment helped create 5,455 positions, a 70% increase from 2017 that accounts for 7.2% of all the jobs created in Catalonia in 2018.


Projects by Investment Type

Most of the projects attracted in 2018 (75%) are Greenfield –investments by companies without prior presence in Catalonia–and new investments by companies already operating in Catalonia. Another 12% are expansion projects, and also 12% represent other type of investments such as joint ventures, M&As and partnerships.

Investment projects by Origin

The USA is the leading source of projects, representing 23.8% of the total number of projects. Japan, second in the list, represents 14.3% of total projects followed by UK (11.9%), Germany (9.5%) and France (9.5%).

Investment projects by Sector

The ICT sector covers 27% of the projects, followed by Automotive (14%), Logistics, transport and e-commerce (12%), Chemical and plastic and Pharmaceuticals (7%). One in four projects implemented in 2018 was from the industrial vlaue chain (manufacturing).

Our track record

The number of projects managed and implemented with the support of Catalonia Trade & Investment from 2014 to 2018 added up to 335, a 65% growth compared to the previous 5-year period.

By volume of investment, more than €1.5B was attracted from 2014 to 2018, a 9.3% increase from the previous five-year period. In job creation, the figures went from 9,301 in 2009-2013 to 15,605 in the 2014-2018 period (+68%).

Public spending by the Ministry of Business and Knowledge showed returns for the Catalan Economy. For every euro of public funding spent to attract investments €129 are generated, while for each professional working at Catalonia Trade & Investment €8.2M are attracted and 172 jobs created.


Download "The Catalan Government’s Strategy to Attract Foreign Investment"

Our international agenda

Download the Annual Report 2018 Key Figures

Success stories from international companies