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.
The combination of areas of outstanding natural beauty with mountains and beaches and a pleasant climate most of the year makes Catalonia the right place to attract and retain the best professionals.
There are more than 578,000 companies in Catalonia, more than 18% of the Spanish total. Nearly 50,000 of them are industrial firms, representing 20% of all Spanish industrial companies.
The creation of companies increases every year. In 2006, 28,417 firms were created in Catalonia.
A privileged location
Catalonia is strategically located on the Mediterranean coast with easy access to EMEA countries. Featuring three international airports, two major ports, extensive highway and railway networks, a modern and efficient logistics infrastructure, leading-edge technology parks and research centres and a large pool of qualified and multilingual labour force (with 12 universities and some of the most renowned business schools in Europe), the region offers outstanding conditions for companies operating in Europe.
Top performing centres
Catalonia was ranked fourth among the top performing European regions in Ernst & Young’s 2006 European Investment Monitor. According to an IESE Business School study, Catalonia was 11th in terms of the most attractive investment region for multinational companies and first among Spanish regions.
Barcelona, the Catalan capital, has been one of the fastest risers in the European Cities Monitor ranking since it was first launched by Cushman & Wakefield. In its latest report, Barcelona appears as the fourth preferred European city for business location, after London, Paris and Frankfurt. In addition, Barcelona comes top in terms of doing the most to improve itself as a business location.
A high-value added economy
With a highly diversified economy, top sectors in the region include pharmaceuticals, chemicals, electronics, IT, automotive and food processing. But the region is also home to a number of emerging industries such as life sciences, renewable energy and aeronautics.
In recent years, Catalonia has become a hot spot for shared service centres with a pan-European scope for activities such as sales, customer support, internal/back-up operations and IT support.
Investment agency support
The industrial policy of the Catalan government lends support to business activity and strategic change through the Catalonia Investment Agency, headquartered in Barcelona, with 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 €44 bn. Our clients include IBM, Yahoo! and BASF.
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, from the initial investment planning to the execution of the investment, and the post-investment stage:
• Market intelligence: sector trends and analysis on the economic environment and legal framework for your feasibility study and business plan.
• Location: we find sites matching your needs and arrange visits to potential locations.
• Administration procedures: we help you deal with administrative procedures before, during and after the set-up of operations.
• Business providers: contacts and meeting arrangements with potential providers.
• Strategic partners: contacts and meeting arrangements with potential partners.
• Incentives, tax credits and funding for projects at the local, national and European level, with coaching services.
• Aftercare services: ongoing business support to help you grow your business in Catalonia and Europe.