A record €52.8bn of FDI was registered in Spain in 2018, according to the country’s ministry of industry, following successive increases since 2012 and an impressive 31.6% hike from 2017.

Not only was the record broken for total registered FDI, but a steady rise in greenfield FDI projects since 2015 reached a peak in 2018, in which Spain garnered 551 greenfield projects creating an estimated 67,341 jobs, according to greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets.


This impressive figure was a 39.49% increase on 2017’s, making Spain the fastest growing country in Western Europe in terms of greenfield FDI projects, according to fDi Markets figures.

Notable sectors include transportation, which experienced 215% growth to record 63 projects in 2018; renewable energy, which experienced 2200% growth to reach 23 projects; and real estate, which had project number growth rates over 100% between 2016 and 2018 and a record estimated capital expenditure of $3.7bn in 2018.

Among the top seven Spanish regions in terms of projects since 2003, all had record years in 2018. Particularly notable regions included Aragon, which attracted a record 26 greenfield projects, Asturias, which saw 5461% year-on-year growth in estimated capital expenditure in 2018 to $263.2m, and Andalucia, which saw 131.25% growth to a record 74 greenfield projects.

Catalonia, the region which controversially declared its independence from Spain in October 2017, was seemingly unaffected by the political upheval of the past few years, maintaining the number one spot and winning a record 171 greenfield FDI projects in 2018.

With a general election scheduled to take place on 28 April, Spain’s impressive FDI figures might yet become a source of political capital.