The Catalan Government, through ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, attracted €880m ($950m) in foreign investment during 2023.

The figure represents a 42% increase over the previous year and is the highest since 1985.

The figures were announced by the region’s Minister for Business and Labour Roger Torrent, who was speaking at a press event that also featured Albert Castellanos, Secretary for Business and Competitiveness and CEO of ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment.

According to the 2023 annual report from Catalonia Trade & Investment, the entity responsible for attracting and managing foreign investment on behalf of the Catalan government, a total of 112 projects by foreign companies were formalised in 2023, which is 19% more than last year. The number of projects exceeded 100 for the first time.

The investments created 4,533 jobs, a rise of 31% from 2022. Out of 112 projects, 42% were greenfield investments, while the remaining 58% were companies already established in the region that have expanded or made new investments.

Torrent said: “These are extraordinary record figures that show how competitive Catalonia is in the business world, that international investors trust in our country, and that we have all the ingredients to make investments with guarantees and potential for growth.”

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He added: “Foreign investment figures help us to position ourselves internationally and accompany the transformations of the country’s economic and business model.”

Over the past five years (2019-2023), ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment has attracted €2.955bn in investment, showing a 90% increase from the previous five-year period (2014-2018). This growth indicates a positive trend in the organisation’s ability to draw investments over time. During the past five years, foreign investment in Catalonia has created almost 20,000 jobs (19,154), which is 23% more than in the previous five-year period.

Breaking down the FDI by sector, 67% was of an industrial nature, 26% in technology sectors, 14% in life sciences, 12% in automotive, 11% in video games and 10% in food.

Investments in the Catalonian region of Spain are now coming from more than 30 different countries, showing how the region can attract a variety of new projects. The main countries contributing to these investments are the US, accounting for 21% of the total, followed by France with 13% and the UK with 9%. Catalonia’s success in attracting investments from various countries highlights its strength in diversifying sources for new projects.

ACCIÓ-Catalonia Commerce and Investment is currently working on almost 600 investment projects. Almost 50% of the companies that invested in Catalonia in 2023 with the support of the Catalan government intend to invest there in the future.