Foreign investment in Catalonia grows by 18%

Catalonia attracted €4,643.9 million in foreign investment during 2023, the highest figure since 2016. The foreign capital influx rebounded in the last quarter of the year and soared to 2,486.9 million, almost half of the amount accumulated in the whole year.


Foreign capital investment in Catalonia reached 4,643.9 million euros in 2023, according to data published on Wednesday by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Enterprise. This figure is almost 18% higher than the previous year, when inbound foreign capital was 3,936 million euros. These figures represent the highest volume of investment in the historical series and the highest since 2016.

It is worth highlighting the influx of capital in the last quarter of the year when it shot up to 2,486.9 million, almost half of the total for the whole year. In Spain as a whole, Catalonia was the second community that accumulated the most foreign investment, only behind Madrid, 15,323.2 million.

Even so, it should be borne in mind that the Spanish ministry’s statistics count foreign investments in the territories where companies have their headquarters, regardless of where they subsequently materialise. This is known as the Madrid capital effect on the rest of the territories and, in the Catalan case, it also responds to the propaganda campaign of the State government to sell the idea that companies were fleeing Catalonia as a result of the referendum of 1 October 2017.

By sectors, in Catalonia over the last year, investments in metallurgy (414 million), metal products (391 million), programming and consultancy (256 million), real estate activities (255 million) and financial services (123 million), among others, have stood out. In terms of countries, Germany (847 million), Cyprus (91 million), Brazil (91 million) and Belgium (66 million) stood out.


A decline in investment in Madrid and Spain as a whole

Despite the bias in the data collected, the investment of foreign capital in Madrid fell by 12.7% year-on-year. Similarly, in Spain as a whole, foreign investment fell by 18.5% over the past year, to 28,214.9 million euros. This is a far cry from the figures recorded in 2022 when investment in gross terms reached 34,178 million euros.

This total is also nowhere near the 55,568 million achieved in 2018, the best year to date for attracting foreign capital. The moderation of economic growth, political instability, the rise in financial costs and mismanagement in the execution of European funds are some causes behind the drop in investment in the State as a whole.

The extraction of crude oil and natural gas (3.4 billion euros) is the sector that attracted the most foreign investment in Spain, followed by wholesale trade (3.015 billion), telecommunications (2.472 billion) and electricity and gas supply (2.080 billion).

In terms of the countries of origin of these investments, Luxembourg is the leader with 10,575 million euros. A country that is often the base of operations for many international investors thanks to its low taxation. It is followed by the United Kingdom (3.27 billion), Germany (2.943 billion), the Netherlands (2.287 billion) and France (1.929 billion).


Record foreign investment attracted by the Generalitat

The publication of the ministry’s data comes just days after the Generalitat announced a record 880 million euros in foreign investment attracted through ACCIÓ, its agency for business competitiveness.

Although this figure did not include the total published this week by the Spanish government department, it is equivalent to an increase of 42% over the previous year and is the highest in the historical series, which began in 1985.

This has resulted in the creation of 4,533 jobs, 31% more than in 2022, and the materialisation of 112 investment projects by foreign companies, 19% more than the previous year, according to the balance sheet of Catalonia Trade & Investment, the ACCIÓ Foreign Investment and Companies unit.

The Catalan Minister for Enterprise and Employment, Roger Torrent, stressed that “these are extraordinary, record figures, which show how competitive Catalonia is in the business world, that international investors have confidence in our country and that we have all the ingredients to make investments with guarantees and growth potential”.

11Onze is the community fintech of Catalonia. Open an account by downloading the app El Canut for Android or iOS and join the revolution!

If you liked this article, we recommend:


The industrialisation we achieved in a century

3 min read

The date of 1714 lingers vividly in our memory. Little...


Catalonia, leader in Business Innovation

3 min read

Numerous reports and studies from institutions like the...


Catalonia: main start-up hub in southern Europe

5 min read

The figures back the reputation of Catalans as...

Equip Editorial Equip Editorial
  1. Manuel Bullich BuenoManuel Bullich Bueno says:

    I aquestes xifres estan sotmesos a les urpes de Ñ. No em puc arribar a imaginar les inversions que arribarien si fóssim un Estat propi,amb tot el.potencial que tenim.
    Llàstima dels polítics mediocres que tenim.

    • Xavier Vinolas EscodaXavier Vinolas Escoda says:

      Totalment d’acord. És una pena tot plegat.

      3 weeks ago
  2. Tomàs Torrent PalouTomàs Torrent Palou says:

    La independència de Catalunya perjudicaria la inversió estrangera? Que en penseu?

    • Jordi CollJordi Coll says:

      Jo penso que no, i que fins i tot tindríem més i millors inversions. Moltes gràcies pel teu comentari / pregunta, Tomàs!!!

      4 weeks ago

Leave a Reply

App Store Google Play