The Financial Times Group recognizes Catalonia as the best Southern European region for foreign investment
The Financial Times calculates this based on five criteria: economic potential, labor environment, cost effectiveness, infrastructure and business friendliness.
It also rates Catalonia as having the best investment attraction strategy amongst the regions in Europe qualified as large.
The Financial Times has put Catalonia at the top of a list of the best places for foreign investment in Southern Europe for the years 2018 and 2019. This prestigious newspaper, a world reference of the economic press and an indispensable guide in markets and international investment movements, conducts this study every two years. The FDI Strategy award, published in the FDI magazine by the Financial Times group, is considered to be one of the most prestigious rankings worldwide.
The division of the Financial Times “FDI Intelligence” collected information on 300 cities and 150 regions in five areas:
- Economic potential
- Labor environment
- Cost effectiveness
- Business friendliness. It refers to the general environment in which businesses operate with regard to the attitudes of governments and lending institutions in relation to business activity.
Taking into account these indicators, the ranking prepared by FDI Magazine determines that the five most attractive regions of Southern Europe in 2018 and 2019 in terms of foreign investment attraction are Catalonia, Madrid, Lombardy, Istanbul and Lisbon.
Agricultural Technology Research Institute in Caldes de Montbui (Catalonia)
Attracting foreign investment
“This recognition shows that Catalonia has the assets, potential, and determination to consolidate itself as one of the most attractive regions in Europe in terms of attracting foreign investments” said Joan Aregio, the Secretary of Enterprise and Competitiveness. “It is the second consecutive time that Catalonia receives this recognition, a very clear indicator of the confidence we generate abroad” he stated.
The ranking also put the country at the forefront of regions considered to be “large,” that is with more than 4 million inhabitants, for having the best strategy to attract foreign investment.
Buildings of the biomedical research center in Barcelona (Catalonia)
A hub of innovation
“Catalonia has a privileged geostrategic position, a solid industrial base, an economy that is open to the world and is highly innovative” says the Secretary of Enterprise and Competitiveness, assets that also include “one of the most dynamic start-up communities.”
The recent ‘Startup Ecosystem Overview’ suggests that Barcelona’s start-up hub is the main one in Spain, with 34% of its most innovative companies.
Using figures from 2017, the report shows that the Catalan start-up ecosystem attracts some 58% of all foreign investment in Spain, making Barcelona the fifth European city among innovative ecosystems, ahead of Madrid, which comes in sixth place. Aregio said that Catalonia is one of the most “dynamic start-up communities in Europe.”
Street view with modern tram in Badalona city (Catalonia)
The best strategy in terms of foreign investment attraction
Apart from recognizing Catalonia as the most attractive region in southern Europe in terms of foreign investment in 2018 and 2019, the publication also rewards Catalonia for having the best strategy to attract foreign investment among regions considered ‘large’, that is to say, those that exceed 4 million inhabitants. A strategy that is promoted by the Catalan Government through Catalonia Trade & Investment, created in 1985 and working from its headquarters in Barcelona along with the Government’s network of 40 Trade and Investment Offices around the world.
The main objective of this strategy is to attract new productive investments to Catalonia as well as strengthening the reinvestment and long-term establishment of foreign companies already established in Catalonia. To this end, Catalonia Trade & Investment offers customized services in the landing phase such as the search for partners, personnel, legal advice, warehouses, land and or offices, to name a few.
The agency’s strategy for attracting foreign investment is determined on the basis of three criteria:
- The main investing countries
- The companies of global renown and leaders in their fields
- The strategic projects that are economic motors and that have a real impact on stable and quality employment.
This translates into the promotion of projects with a heavy emphasis on the industrial, R&D and logistics fields in strategic sectors such as future vehicles, health, industry 4.0 and mobile technologies.