The Catalan Government attracts 480 million euros in foreign investment in 2020 for Catalonia, an increase of 31% over the previous year

15 Apr 2021

  • Through the agency ACCIÓ, part of the Ministry of Business and Knowledge, some 80 foreign investment projects have been attracted, meaning 2,300 jobs have been created and an additional 1,140 maintained.
  • 87% of the volume of foreign investment attracted is in industrial projects, while the main investor countries are France, the United Kingdom and Japan.
  • Half of the foreign companies that have invested in Catalonia in 2020 are first time investors here.
  • For every euro of public money spent on attracting investment, 166 euros of foreign investment have been raised.

The Catalan Government attracted 480 million euros of foreign investment into Catalonia in 2020 through its agency for business competitiveness, ACCIÓ, part of the Ministry of Business and Knowledge, an increase of 31% over the previous year. This was announced at a press conference held by the Minister for Business and Knowledge, Ramon Tremosa, accompanied by ACCIÓ’s CEO, Joan Romero.

This is the balance sheet of Catalonia Trade & Investment, ACCIÓ’s area responsible for attracting foreign investment. If analyzed over longer periods to avoid the volatile effect of foreign investment, the volume of foreign investment attracted by ACCIÓ over the last five years (2016-2020) reached 1,759 million euros, 23% more than the previous five-year period (2011-2015).

Thus, in 2020, a total of 77 foreign investment projects were attracted to Catalonia, which meant the creation of 2,300 jobs and the maintenance of 1,140 more.

Of the 480 million euros of foreign investment attracted in 2020, 87% corresponds to industrial projects. From a sector point of view, a balance between more emerging and traditional sectors is evident. Thus, the list is topped by technological projects – ICT and digital transformation – (with 32.5% of the total), automotive and motorcycles (9.1%) and food and gourmet products (6.5%).

In terms of countries of origin, company investments from France (14.3% of projects), the United Kingdom (13.0%) and Japan (10.4%) stand out. If we analyse the investor profile, we first observe that, in 2020, half (50.6%) of the projects are greenfield; i.e, companies with no previous presence in Catalonia. Below are those companies already present in Catalonia, which are expanding present operations (19.5% of the total) or performing new investments (15.6%)

Public support for productive investment

ACCIÓ provides comprehensive advice to foreign companies to help them set up in Catalonia. 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 is raised. The main point of entry for projects is the network of ACCIÓ’s 40 International Trade and Investment Offices around the world, which have attracted almost half (47%) of the projects.

The Catalan Government has adapted its strategy for promoting and attracting investments to the covid and post-covid scenario, taking into account those sectors that have emerged stronger from this crisis and those allowing Catalonia to gain greater resilience and competitiveness. Along these lines, promotion plans are being implemented in the field of future mobility, the health-biotech sector, food and logistics, while work is being done to attract projects in the industrial and technological fields and in sustainability and circular economy areas.

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