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By Biocat

Barcelona has returned to the levels of gross foreign direct investment (FDI) of the years before the economic crisis, and reached €3.952 million in 2010 and 3,022 in 2011, according to the study Foreign investment in the Barcelona area, produced by Esade every two years on behalf of the City Council.

Between 2006 and 2010 the number of foreign companies in the Barcelona area grew by 13%, to 3,381. France, Germany, United Kingdom and the Benelux countries are the main drivers of FDI in the metropolitan area, and will remain so in the coming years along with the United States. Emerging countries will still be FDI recipient markets more than source markets. Therefore, the report suggests designing and implementing policies to promote the Barcelona area aimed at large companies in emerging countries, especially Asia.

There is a consensus of opinion that is necessary to focus on promoting the service sector as a major economic asset for the future of the Barcelona area, along with certain industrial sectors of high technological content. The experts and executives surveyed for the study have identified six areas where they recommended concentrating efforts to attract foreign investment:

  • The logistics sector,
  • the information technology and communication technology (ICT) sector,
  • the biotech sector,
  • the sectors related to creativity and culture,
  • the tourist sector, andThe sectors of services to people with intensive talent.

Most of the investments of multinational corporations in developed countries tend towards the location of subsidiaries in hub cities which have a powerful economic structure linked to global innovation networks and good infrastructure and communications.  In this regard Barcelona has a major attraction for the location of centers specialized in office or in global business lines and shared service centers. Foreign companies located in the city and the metropolitan area particularly value their industrial development, skilled human capital, the level of infrastructure, geographic location and the legal facilities for investing.

The evolution of FDI in Catalonia between 2007 and 2010 has improved clearly when compared with that of Spain and the EU. Catalonia received €4,520 million in 2010, the highest level of the last 5 years, which accounted for 19% of FDI in Spain.

There is more information on the website of the Council of Barcelona.

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