How Barcelona Fares in Global Business Rankings

2014 Observatori Barcelona Report

October 2014.- Barcelona holds its own among the top 10 cities in both Europe and the world in key areas for business development, such as the number of foreign investment projects received and the organization of international events. In addition, it ranks seventh in Europe in terms of future prospects (fDi Magazine, Financial Times). In the same report (2013/14), Catalonia appears as the third most attractive southern European region – ahead of Lombardy and Tuscany – and the ninth business friendly region overall. 

This is what we can read in the Barcelona Observatory 2014 report, an initiative promoted by the Barcelona City Council and Chamber of Commerce. The report looks at 29 major and significant indicators that position the city in terms of foreign investment projects, employment in knowledge intensive sectors, scientific production, office rental rates, international tourists, unemployment rates or degree-level workers, as well as new indicators such as future prospects, employment attractiveness in metropolitan areas or urban mobility.

The information sources are reputable international organizations and institutions, and the data is as up to date as possible, depending on availability. The number of cities looked at came to sixty, in some cases. 

  • In knowledge and technology areas, Barcelona stands out in scientific production. It is the fifth city in Europe and eleventh in the world. 
  • Tourism development is extremely positive. By number of airport passengers (the city received the European Best Airport award for 2014) Barcelona is among the top ten cities in Europe; in terms of number of cruise ship passengers it is the first. 
  • In terms of mobility, Barcelona is among the top ten smart cities in Europe in terms of global brand appeal and employment attractiveness, and the fifth city in the world for quality of life. 
  • As regards cost of living, Barcelona is still competitive in indicators such as prices of office space and premises, and wage levels, but is on the high side in terms of European tax rates.
  • In the area of education, progress made in recent years is noteworthy. Barcelona is the only city with two educational institutions in the top 100 MBA ranking according to the Financial Times’ ranking, which are placed third and eighth in the list of top European business schools.

Related data

Top 25 European Cities (fDi Magazine, Financial Times)

london, helsinki, eindhoven, cambridge, dublin, munich, barcelona, berlin, amsterdam, reading, edinburgh, vienna, glasgow, rotterdam, lyon, paris, grenoble, utrecht, birmingham, ghent, liverpool, lisbon, derby, cork, galway.

Catalonia in Business