International business appeal

Join the 7,000 international companies already settled in Catalonia.


Incoming investments join good company in Catalonia

The global nature of Catalonia’s business panorama is backed up by more than 7,000 incoming firms now operating here. Furthermore, the business ecosystem shows a high level of diversification in terms of sectors and countries, -90% of foreign companies come from 20 different countries- and operates in a competitive, talented and open environment.

One of Europe's preferred areas for investment projects

Catalonia is among the top European regions for foreign investment attraction. The Financial Times sees Catalonia as the best Southern European Region 2016/17 in its latest report on the most attractive European locations for investments. Barcelona comes first on the continent in FDI strategy and investment attraction policies.

According to Ernst & Young European Attractiveness Survey 2016, Barcelona is the 5th most attractive investment location in Europe, after London, Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam. And according to the Financial Times’ fDi Markets, Catalonia was in 2016 the 4th region in Continental Western Europe in job creation, the 5th region in attracting the highest amount of projects, and the 6th region in investment volume.

A dynamic export sector

Catalan companies have significant experience in international trade. In 2016, Catalan exports grew by 2%, generating a record breaking 65.1 billion euros for the economy.

Catalan exports represent 30% of Catalan GDP. Main export sectors are chemicals (19%), automotive (17%), food & drink (12%), textile and fashion (7%), pharmaceuticals (7%) and machinery (6%).

Students from abroad

Its cultural diversity, the cosmopolitan atmosphere, and its trading history all mean Catalonia attracts talent worldwide. Thanks to this, both businesses and business professionals from all walks of life are completely at home here.

Catalan universities have gone from being relatively unknown on the international academic circuit to now having a greater percentage of foreign students than countries such as Germany, Denmark or Holland. International students in Catalan universities have experienced a growth of 13.44% over the last three years. The amount of foreign students in Catalan universities is now 9.12% (2014-15). It was 7.9% some years ago (2011-12) when it already doubled the amount of foreign students found on average in Spanish universities (2.8%).

Excellent career prospects and attractive business and leisure opportunities attract skilled professionals from all over the world who share Catalan professionals’ talent, commitment, energy, knowhow, curiosity and work ethic.

According to E&Y European Attractiveness Survey 2016, Barcelona is the 5th most attractive investment location in Europe, after London, Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam

FDI and foreign companies in Catalonia

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Key Economic Data

Population: 7.5 million

Area: 32,106 Km2

GDP (2016): 223.6 billion Euros

GDP per capita (2016): 29,966 Euros

Exports (2016): 65.1 billion Euros

FDI (2016): 4,857 million Euros

Catalonia accounts for:

1.5% of EU-28 population
1.5% of EU-28 GDP
1.3% of EU-28 exports

16% of Spanish population
20% of Spanish GDP
24% of Spanish industry
25% of Spanish foreign trade

7,086 multinationals in Catalonia. Breakdown by countries of origin.

13.8% Germany
12.7% France
11.5% USA
9.2% Italy
8.4% Netherlands
7.5% UK 

6.5% Luxembourg
4.9% Switzerland

2.8% Japan

2.4% Belgium

2.0% Portugal
2.0% Denmark

16.3% Others