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Foreign investment into Barcelona and Catalonia has remained strong despite political upheaval surrounding the latter’s independence referendum in 2017. Sebastian Shehadi reports.

Investment “goes on”, according to the official slogan and website of investment promotion agency Barcelona Catalonia at this year’s MIPIM, a leading real estate expo held yearly in Cannes. Barcelona Catalonia is a joint venture between the autonomous government of Catalonia, through Incasòl (Catalan Land Institute), and Barcelona City Council.

Damià Calvet, director of Incasòl, government of Catalonia, told fDi at MIPIM: “The social and economic conditions of Catalonia are solid and stable, despite the political situation. The context of Barcelona-Catalonia is that we are in Europe, we have full legal certainty, a business-friendly public administration, a high level of public safety, good connections with the rest of the world, good inner mobility, vibrant cities and a thrilling social and cultural environment, and this is the perfect recipe to attract investments.”

Although it may be too early to measure, the sentiment that both Barcelona and Catalonia “go on” is corroborated by data from fDi Markets, a greenfield investment monitor from the Financial Times. Since September 2017, when Spain’s political troubles began, up until January 31, 2018, there were 48 FDI projects into Barcelona, a healthy amount. This compares to 41 during the same time period in 2016, 48 in 2015 and 36 in 2014.

Similarly, there were 55 FDI projects into Catalonia between September 2017 and January 2018, compared to an average of 45 during that period of time in 2014, 2015 and 2016, according to fDi Markets. At a more macro level, Spain attracted 385 greenfield FDI projects in 2017, 61 more than the previous year and 133 more than in 2015. Greenfield capital investment hit $13.9bn in 2017, its highest level since 2008.

This article is sourced from fDi Magazine
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