Catalonia’s exports go over 65,000 million euros in 2016, the highest figure so far on record


  • Catalan exports have grown by 2% in 2016 - an increase higher than the Eurozone and Spanish state figures, registering the highest export volume for the sixth year running. 
  • Catalan sales growth exceeds Germany (1.2%) and Italy (1.1%), and contrasts with the fall in exports in France (-0.9%), UK (-0,2%) and the United States (-3.2%). 
  • In every 3.2 euro increase in exports from Catalan companies in 2016, one euro is due to internationalization projects by Catalan companies handled by Catalonia Trade & Investment.

In 2016 Catalonia registered for the sixth consecutive year, the highest figure of all exports on record. Specifically Catalan companies exported 65,142 million a year on year growth of 2%. This is a growth rate higher than the Euro area (0.7%), Spain (1.7%), Germany (1.2%) and Italy (1.1%), and contrasts with falls in France (-0.9%), the UK (-0.2%), the US (-3.2%), China (-6.4%) and Japan (-7 4%).

In this regard, the Secretary for Business and Competitiveness Joan Aregio says that "it is the result of persistent, constant efforts by Catalan business community, one of the most internationalized in our region." This process has had the support and assistance of the Catalan Government, with one of every 3.2 euros of the increase in Catalan exports in 2016 coming from international projects managed by Catalonia Trade & Investment.

According to Aregio, "our economy has looked abroad for hundreds of years and today, the more competitive the world becomes, the more Catalan companies internationalise." In other words, he stresses that SMEs and Catalan companies "demonstrate once again that they are fully integrated into global value chains and international trade flows."

In sector terms, 2016 was noteworthy for chemical exports (26.1% of total), capital goods (18.6%) and the automotive sector (15.9%). "These are productive sectors, creating industry in Catalonia, and that show we export quality, added value products," said the Secretary for Business and Competitiveness. In fact, these are areas with a strong innovative aspect, he explains, making special mention of "the importance of pairing innovation and internationalization: one thing leads to another, creating a constant circle that powers itself and builds the competitive base of Catalan companies."

In order to intensify the internationalization of the Catalan economy and to continue to expand the base of exporting companies, the government has announced the opening of— through Catalonia Trade & Investment—six new Trade and Investment Offices abroad. Specifically, during the first quarter, delegations will be opened in Zagreb (covering the area of the Balkans), Nairobi (Kenya) and Tehran (Iran). In a second phase, before the end of the year offices in Los Angeles (United States), Havana (Cuba) and Amsterdam (Netherlands) will be opened. This will strengthen the network of offices abroad, going from 36 offices to 42, covering 109 markets.

Similarly, Catalonia Trade & Investment will organize and support 138 business missions in 2017, forecasting the participation of over 1,000 companies from all sectors of the Catalan economy: 48 missions are in America, 33 in Europe, 30 in East Africa 27 East and in the Asia Pacific. In total, 59 countries worldwide will be visited.

In fact, trade missions are the tool that the Government uses to expand the base of regular exporting companies: it has been detected that markets where missions had been organized between 2014 and 2016 then show the highest increase in regular exporting companies. This is the case of Colombia, USA, UAE, China, Mexico, Morocco and Algeria, among others.