FDI in Catalonia Surges to €880m, Highest Since 1985

Catalonia has achieved a significant milestone in foreign direct investment (FDI), drawing €880 million in investment during 2023, the highest figure recorded since 1985. Spearheaded by ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, the region attracted a remarkable surge in investment, marking a 42% increase over the previous year and generating 4,533 new jobs.

The announcement, made by Catalonia’s Minister for Business and Labour Roger Torrent, underscores the region’s growing competitiveness in the global business landscape. Torrent expressed pride in Catalonia’s ability to secure international investors’ trust and highlighted the conducive environment for investments with promising growth potential.

The 2023 annual report from Catalonia Trade & Investment reveals that a total of 112 projects by foreign companies were formalised during the year, reflecting a 19% increase compared to the previous year. Notably, this marks the first time the number of projects exceeded 100, signalling robust investor confidence in Catalonia’s business ecosystem.

Of the 112 projects, 42% were greenfield investments, indicating fresh ventures, while the remaining 58% were expansions or new investments by companies already established in the region. This diversified investment portfolio underscores Catalonia’s attractiveness for both new and established enterprises seeking growth opportunities.

Over the past five years, ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment has demonstrated significant success in attracting investments, totaling €2.955 billion, representing a 90% increase compared to the preceding five-year period. This sustained growth trajectory reflects the organization’s effectiveness in drawing investments over time, resulting in the creation of nearly 20,000 jobs.

Breaking down the FDI by sector, Catalonia witnessed investments primarily in the industrial sector (67%), followed by technology sectors (26%), life sciences (14%), automotive (12%), video games (11%), and food industry (10%). This diverse investment landscape highlights Catalonia’s strategic advantage across multiple sectors, fostering economic resilience and growth.

Moreover, investments in Catalonia are now originating from more than 30 different countries, showcasing the region’s ability to attract a diverse range of projects. Key contributors to these investments include the US (21%), France (13%), and the UK (9%), demonstrating Catalonia’s success in diversifying its investor base.

ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment is currently engaged in nearly 600 investment projects, with almost half of the companies that invested in Catalonia in 2023 expressing intentions to continue investing in the region in the future. This sustained interest underscores Catalonia’s position as a preferred destination for international investment, supported by its conducive business environment and strategic economic sectors.