Annual Report 2019: Foreign investment in Catalonia up by 13%

Catalonia Trade & Investment has attracted €365.2M of foreign investment in 2019, 13% more than the previous year. These foreign investment projects have led to the creation of 5,757 jobs (a growth of 5.5% year-on-year) and the maintenance of an additional 1,349 jobs (+ 6.3%).

In 2019, Catalonia Trade & Investment executed 84 investment projects. This is the same figure as the previous year, and the highest in the historical series for the second consecutive year. In addition, the 5,757 jobs created represent 8.2% of the total employment created in Catalonia during 2019.


Foreign investment in Industry

80% of the volume of foreign investment attracted by Catalonia Trade & Investment in 2019 has been allocated to industry, especially in pharmaceutics, automotive, and chemical and plastics.

By value chain, industry holds the No. 1 position with 20.2% of the total number of investment projects, followed by investments in services, ICT projects (19%), R&D (14.3%) and logistics (7.1%).

By sector, the number of foreign investments by companies in the ICT & Digital Transformation sectors are very relevant (32.1%); followed by the pharmaceutical industry (9.5%); logistics, e-commerce and distribution (8.3%); and food and gourmet products (7.1%).

Greenfields and New Investments

Almost half of the projects executed in 2019 (47.6%) are Greenfield –investments by companies without prior presence in Catalonia–, which demonstrates the potential of Catalonia to continue attracting new investors.

New investments by companies already operating in Catalonia represented 22.6% of the total number of projects, followed by expansion projects (20.2%).

Investment projects by Origin

The USA is the leading source of projects, representing 17.9% of the total number of projects. Germany, second in the list, represents 16.7% of total projects followed by France (13.1%).

Catalonia Trade & Investment's network of 40 offices around the world were the main FDI source, helping to attract 22.6% of the projects. Aftercare meetings were the second source (13%). These are follow-up visits by Catalonia Trade & Investment staff to foreign companies already established in Catalonia.

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.

Download the Annual Report 2019 Key Figures

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