Annual Report 2020: Foreign investment in Catalonia up 31%

Catalonia Trade & Investment has attracted €480M of foreign investment in 2020, 31% more than the previous year, according to the agency’s Annual Report 2020.

If analyzed over longer periods to avoid the volatile effect of foreign investment, the volume of foreign investment attracted by the agency over the last five years (2016-2020) reached €1,759M, 23% more than the previous five-year period (2011-2015).

In 2020, Catalonia Trade & Investment executed 77 investment projects, which meant the creation of 2,300 jobs and the maintenance of 1,140 more.


Foreign investment in industrial projects

87% of the volume of foreign investment attracted by Catalonia Trade & Investment in 2020 has been allocated to industrial projects, especially in ICT and digital transformation (32.5%), automotive and motorcycles (9.1%) and food and gourmet products (6.5%).

Investment projects by country of origin

France is the leading source of projects, representing 14.3% of the total number of projects. The United Kingdom, second in the list, represents 13% of total projects followed by Japan (10.4%).

Greenfields and new investments

If we analyze the investor profile, we first observe that, in 2020, half of the projects executed in 2020 are Greenfield –investments by companies with no previous presence in Catalonia–, which demonstrates the potential of Catalonia to attract new investors.

Below are those companies already present in Catalonia, which are expanding present operations (19.5% of the total) or performing new investments (15.6%).

Attracting foreign investment to Catalonia

Catalonia Trade & Investment is the Catalan Government’s agency for foreign investment and business competitiveness. The aim is to make it easier for new multinationals to invest in Catalonia while at the same time help those already present expand and reinvest.

Their tasks ranges from the promotion of Catalonia abroad, the joint preparation of applications for companies to carry out investments in Catalonia, full advice throughout the investment process and follow-up once the investment has been carried out.

As a result of this process, for every euro of public money spent on attracting foreign investment, 166 euros of foreign investment are raised. The main FDI source of projects is the network of 40 International Trade and Investment Offices around the world, which have attracted almost half (47%) of the projects.

The Catalan Government began attracting foreign investment in 1985. Since then, 1,285 foreign investment projects have been materialized, involving an investment of more than €10,200M euros and the creation of more than 61,000 job positions.

Download the Annual Report 2020