Within Europe, Catalonia and Barcelona are both the region and the city with the best foreign investment attraction strategy according to fDI Magazine, part of the Financial Times Group.
It is one of the most prestigious international rankings used by multinationals to study future business investment projects and acknowledges several initiatives carried out by the Catalan Government.
Large European Regions of the Future
The publication assesses ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment’s strategy for attracting foreign investment and the agency’s 2020 balance sheet in this field. Despite the pandemic, the agency attracted 77 foreign investment projects, representing an investment of 480 million euros and the creation of 2,300 jobs.
FDi Magazine recognizes ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment’s strategy focused on attracting new business projects to Catalonia in the field of industry 4.0 and advanced manufacturing.
The publication also mentions the presence of higher education institutions in Catalonia that act “as high value-added investment magnets” and the fact that “international technology giants, SMEs, and highly specialized startups are attracting top talent from all over the world into the region”.
The award, which falls into the category of Large European Regions of the Future - FDI Strategy, places Catalonia in the first place and ahead of regions such as North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) and Flanders (Belgium).
Catalonia Trade and Investment’s track record
Catalonia’s strategy for foreign investment attraction is carried out through Catalonia Trade & Investment, which works from Barcelona and via its network of 40 Trade and Investment Offices around the world to attract new foreign investment projects to Catalonia.
With this strategy, according to the latest data available, in 2020 the Catalan Government attracted €480M of foreign investment, 31% more than the previous year. These foreign investment projects have led to the creation of 2,300 jobs and the maintenance of an additional 1,140 jobs.
87% of the volume of foreign investment attracted by Catalonia Trade & Investment in 2020 has been allocated to industry, especially in ICT and digital transformation, automotive and motorcycles, and food and gourmet products.
8,908 international companies settled in Catalonia
A total of 8,908 multinationals operate from Catalonia, a number that has grown 60% from 2013 to 2019.
The countries with the highest presence of foreign companies in Catalonia are France (with 13% of the total), Germany (13%), the United States (12%), Italy (9%), United Kingdom (9%), the Netherlands (7%), Switzerland (5%), Luxembourg (4%), Denmark (3%) and Japan (3%)
By sectors, the foreign subsidiaries established in Catalonia are dedicated to infrastructures (11.5% of the total), ICT-digital transformation (7.7%) and machinery (7.4%).