Catalonia and Barcelona have Europe’s best foreign investment attraction strategy, according to the Financial Times Group

Catalan Economy

21 Feb 2022

  • The publication fDi Magazine gives this recognition to ACCIÓ- Catalonia Trade & Investment due to the balance of foreign investment captured by the Catalan Government in 2020 and its strategy to attract new investment projects in the area of industry
  • This is one of the most prestigious international rankings used by multinationals when considering future business investment projects

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.

Specifically, in the case of Catalonia, 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).

For the Minister of Business and Labour, Roger Torrent, this recognition shows “the commitment of the Catalan Government to attract foreign productive investment that generates added value for the Catalan economy, especially in industrial, digital and technological fields”.

Furthermore, he adds, “The aim of attracting foreign investment is always to create skilled jobs and increase the qualitative value of the business base present in our country.

Torrent emphasizes that “few European regions have an agency specializing in attracting and managing foreign investment projects such as ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, which, working since 1985, has now over 30 years experience in this field”. Along these lines, he declares that “this acknowledgment is in recognition of an endeavour which has been consolidated over the years and is still fully in force, with about 500 foreign investment projects in today’s portfolio”.

Foreign investment is a priority for the Catalan Government and a key element in boosting the country’s economic activity and creating direct and indirect jobs. Thus, ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment provides comprehensive advice to foreign companies to facilitate their implementation process in Catalonia, with the aim of helping to get new multinationals to invest in Catalonia at the same time helping those already present to carry out expansion and reinvestment plans.

Their work ranges from the promotion of Catalonia abroad to the joint preparation of company applications to perform investments in Catalonia, comprehensive advisory services throughout the investment process, and subsequent monitoring of this once it has been put into practice.


In the case of the Catalan capital, the publication ranks Barcelona first in the category fDI’s European Cities and Regions of the Future 2022/2023 - FDI Strategy. The document highlights, among other things, the Barcelona City Council’s Barcelona Green Deal strategy, which sets out the priority lines in economic promotion for the next decade in the key 2030 agenda.

FDi Magazine also highlights the Barcelona International Welcome Desk initiative, a pioneering service in Catalonia that facilitates the landing and setting up of foreign investors, researchers, and talent. The office offers information, advice, and the possibility of carrying out various useful procedures upon arrival in the city.

As part of the city's economic promotion strategy, the Financial Times group's magazine emphasizes that business units or sectorial headquarters of companies such as Pepsico, Microsoft, Decathlon, and TDCX have set up in the city over the last year and a half; a clear commitment by these multinationals towards the Catalan capital, thanks to its entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem.

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