Celebrating 30 years around the world

Catalonia Trade & Investment’s international offices celebrate 30 years of activity with three decades of robust investment growth in Catalonia behind them. The first offices opened in 1988 in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Milan, New York and San Francisco to give easy access into the dynamic Catalan economy as an opportunity for international investors.

Nowadays, the list of offices has grown into a network of 40 around the world, located in all major economies on five continents, and covering more than 100 markets. To date, the network has managed some 20,000 projects that have helped both incoming investors and Catalan exporting companies.

Expanding the network into 40 offices

The first decade, from 1988 to 1998, was dedicated to expansion and to boost Catalan presence internationally. By 1998, Catalonia Trade & Investment counted on 24 offices and had a foothold on all five continents.

Then, over the next decade came a period of consolidation where, by 2008, the network had 38 offices with openings in Sao Paulo, Montreal, Shanghai, Brussels and Washington DC, among other cities.

The final decade, ending in 2018, saw the landing in emerging markets like Accra, Nairobi, Teheran and Zagreb, and in areas of special economic and strategic interest like Bogota, Amsterdam, Boston, Lima, Panama, Seoul and Tel-Aviv.

The agency always had the mission to be present in those markets that are attractive for investment and exporting opportunities, and will continue to adapt to the world’s economic changes in the years to come.

Tripling investment attraction

Between 1993 and 2018, Catalonia attracted a total of 69,195 million euros in foreign direct investment. Comparing the first five-year period where investment data is available (1993 to 1997) to data from the last five-year period (2013-2017), investment in Catalonia tripled, growing from 1,533 as an annual average to 4,755 million euros.  

Furthermore, today we can say that for every euro of public money invested in the worldwide offices, Catalonia gets back 16.8 euros in foreign investment. A success story that enables Catalonia Trade & Investment to act as a veritable one-stop-shop for companies looking for investment opportunities.

Catalonia Trade & Investment offers – as main services for potential investors – full business location services, suppliers and local business sourcing, and information and support on financing options.  During 2017, most of the projects attracted to Catalonia were from the ICT sector, followed by Automotive and Air transport.

For 30 years, Catalonia Trade & Investment offices around the world have been able to showcase for the international business community all the talent, the opportunities, the infrastructures, the local work ethic and the unique advantages of doing business in Catalonia while transmitting globally one consistent message — Catalonia is always open to business and open to the world.


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