Introduction to Catalonia Trade and Investment

What is Catalonia planning to do in order to consolidate its position as one of Europe’s leading investment destinations?

One of the most noteworthy elements is the understanding between the Catalan administration and its business community to head the fourth industrial revolution in Southern Europe, taking advantage of its well-established industrial tradition and powerful, expanding ICT sector. Many major firms are aware of this and invest here also attracted by the diversity and competitiveness found in the Catalan economy, as well as its privileged strategic location. Thanks to these aspects, The Financial Times sees Catalonia as the best Southern European Region of the Future in its latest report on the most attractive European locations for future investments.

What recent examples of major investments are there, along these lines?

We can see significant examples from companies such as HP, Amazon and Thunder Power. They are leading companies in their sectors that have opted for investing and expanding in Catalonia. And they are not alone. At present over 7,000 multinationals operate out of Catalonia. They value its diverse and competitive economy, its excellent transport links with the rest of the world and its capacity to attract talent and investment.

HP, Amazon and Thunder Power stand out in growing sectors found today in Catalonia with implications for Industry 4.0, in areas such as logistics, 3D printing and connected vehicles.

  • Logistics: Amazon has opted for Catalonia as its strategic hub in the logistics sector in Europe. This can be seen in the five major investments which the North American company has announced over the last year and the fact that they will use Catalonia as their entrance point into Europe. Furthermore, the Chinese company Hutchison, opened in 2012 the Barcelona Europe South Terminal (BEST) in the Port de Barcelona, the only semi-automated container terminal in the Mediterranean. The excellent infrastructures and its connectivity boosts the logistics sector in Catalonia, which englobes 38,800 companies and employs 186,500 people. Catalonia dedicates up to 6 million square metres to logistics activity, a figure that represents 23.8% of the entire Spanish ground area dedicated to logistics.
  • 3D: HP is one of the multinationals with the strongest presence in Catalonia. It came to Catalonia in 1985 and currently it has a team of 1,800 highly qualified professionals. It is the worldwide headquarters for 3D and Large Format printing businesses and a global point of reference in these fields. HP is one of the promoters of the Global 3D Printing Hub, a new platform that aims to become a world-class point of reference in the 3D printing technology from an industrial standpoint. This hub will host innovation and R&D activity, pe3rform certifications of new materials and will act as a showroom featuring products and solutions
  • Connected Car: The international technology group Thunder Power, specialised in the sector of electric vehicles and with its headquarters in Hong Kong, announced last March the opening of a new R&D centre in Catalonia, meaning that the region will become a pioneer testing ground in Europe in the field of autonomous and connected vehicles. The project Catalonia Living Lab will allow manufacturers of both vehicles and parts to perform tests and validations of this technology on roads, circuits and in cities within Catalonia.

Catalonia Trade & Investment is the public agency of Catalan Government that works to attract foreign direct investment to Barcelona and Catalonia. It helps international companies interested in investing in Catalonia and Barcelona with qualified support, insight and advice. Catalonia T&I offers specialised one-stop-shop services to international investors and corporations, attracting foreign direct investment to Barcelona and Catalonia. They will be exhibiting at the Global Expansion Summit in 2017. Request a meeting today.