As a competitive European region, Catalonia meets three important criteria for potential investors, namely:

• A perfect balance between productivity and operating costs;


• Highly qualified human resources and the ability to attract multinational talent;

• A highly competitive business base.

There are in excess of 578,000 companies in Catalonia, more than 18% of the Spanish total. Nearly 50,000 of them are industrial firms.


Catalonia is strategically located on the Mediterranean coast with easy access to EMEA countries. The region features three international airports, two major ports, extensive highway and railway networks, a modern and efficient logistics infrastructure, and leading-edge technology parks and research centres.

In addition, a large pool of qualified and multilingual workers (it has 12 universities and some of the most renowned business schools in Europe) makes this region ideal for companies operating in Europe.


Catalonia was ranked fourth among the top performing European regions in Ernst & Young’s 2007 European Investment Monitor.

Barcelona appears as the fourth preferred European city for business location, after London, Paris and Frankfurt, according to the latest European Cities Monitor ranking launched by Cushman & Wakefield in October 2007. In addition, Barcelona comes top in terms of doing the most to improve itself as a business location.


The pharmaceutical sector has traditionally been one of Catalonia’s strongest industries. Half of the pharmaceutical laboratories in Spain are located in Catalonia, producing 60% of total turnover.

The four largest pharmaceutical companies in Spain – Almirall Prodesfarma, Esteve, Ferrer Internacional and Uriach – have their head offices in Catalonia. These four companies spend more than €150m a year on R&D, attracting major foreign investments to the region. Seven of world’s main pharmaceutical companies are established in Catalonia: Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck, Sanofi Aventis, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and the Roche Group.

Catalonia is renowned for its scientific research, its pre-eminent infrastructures (the Barcelona Science Park, the Biomedical Research Park, the Biocampus, etc) and its prestigious network of hospitals and universities collaborating with the industry.

Biocat is the Catalonia biocluster organisation, fostered by the Government of Catalonia, and made up of companies and public research institutions, to promote biotechnology and biomedicine in Catalonia.


The industrial policy of the Catalan government lends support to business activity and strategic change through the Catalonia Investment Agency, which is headquartered in Barcelona, and has an office in Madrid and overseas branches in New York and Tokyo.

Since its creation in 1985, the agency has managed more than 2500 projects involving investments of more than €44bn.

The agency renders services and advice free of charge and under the strictest confidentiality to companies considering expansion in Catalonia. Acting as a one-stop-shop, it assists companies throughout the investment process and the post-investment stage on the following:

• Market intelligence: identifying sector trends and analysis on the economic environment and legal framework to perform feasibility studies and business plans. Top sectors in the region include: life sciences, chemicals, electronics, information and communications technology, automotive, food processing and renewable energies.

• Site selection.

• Assistance in dealing with administrative procedures before, during and after the set-up of operations.

• Facilitating contacts and meeting arrangements with potential providers and partners.

• Coaching services and access to incentives, tax credits and funding for projects at a local, national and European level.

• Aftercare services: ongoing business support to help companies to grow their businesses in Catalonia and Europe.

To find out more about Catalonia, visit: