Foreign investment record: 84 projects attracted by the Catalan Government and 5,455 new jobs created in 2018

07 Jun 2019

The Government of Catalonia has registered a new record in foreign investment, as it has attracted 84 projects in 2018 (+20% compared to the previous year), which have enabled the creation of 5,455 jobs (+70%) and represent an investment of 322 million euros (+34%). These projects have received the support and advice from Catalonia Trade & Investment, the Catalan Government’s agency for business competitiveness. Thus, an investment project has been attracted every 4.3 days, while 6.2 million euros of foreign investment have been captured each week.

These figures represent the highest number on record for the number of projects attracted by Catalonia Trade & Investment and the jobs created through these foreign investments. In fact, in the last five years (2014-2018) the foreign investment volume attracted by the Catalan Government amounted to 1,553 million euros, a growth by 9.3% compared to the previous five years.

Moreover, the 5,455 new jobs created through foreign investment projects attracted by Catalonia Trade & Investment represent 7.2% of the total employment creation in Catalonia in 2018. 63% of these jobs are highly qualified profiles in the fields of R&D and ICT. These new jobs can be added to the number of maintained positions, which results in a total of 6,724 jobs. Therefore, 18 jobs were created or maintained every day.

Public support for productive investment
The support of the Catalan Governments to companies around the world interested in setting up in Catalonia is offered through Catalonia Trade & Investment. This unit works from Barcelona and a network of 40 Foreign Trade and Investment Offices around the world to attract new foreign investment projects to Catalonia while providing comprehensive support to foreign companies.

In this regard, the first means of entry for new foreign investment projects in 2018 have been these Foreign Investment Offices around the world, with 23.8% of the total of projects attracted by the Catalonia Trade & Investment. In fact, for every euro of public money spent, the Government has attracted 129 euros of foreign investment by multinational companies.

Foreign investment projects profile
39% of the foreign investment projects materialized in 2018 are new investments by companies that were already established in Catalonia (for instance, new plants or production lines or the launch of new services). Also, 37% of the projects have been greenfield, that is, those carried out by multinational companies that set up in Catalonia for the first time. This type of investments has experienced an important growth as they have almost tripled in the last five years compared with the previous five-year period. There are currently 8,642 foreign companies established in Catalonia, according to Catalonia Trade & Investment.

From a sector point of view, there is a balance between emerging and traditional sectors. Thus, ICT projects top the list (with 27% of the total in 2018 as they have more than doubled in the last five years compared to the previous five-year period), followed by the automotive sector (14%) and logistics, e-commerce and distribution (12%). Other relevant areas are chemistry and plastics (11%) and the pharmaceutical industry (7%). Regarding the value chain, one in four projects is industrial (25%), followed by ICT (18%), services (15.5%) and R&D (14 %). In the case of headquarters, which represent 6% of the projects in 2018, they have remarkably more than quadrupled in the last five years.

Regarding the country of origin of these projects, the United States (with 23.8% of the total), Japan (14%), the United Kingdom (12%), Germany (9.5%) and France (9.5%) lead the ranking in 2018.

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