Source: fDi Intelligence (The Financial Times)

Source: fDi Intelligence (The Financial Times)

Last modified: 12/07/2016

Barcelona leads investment rankings for Spanish and Portuguese cities

With Spain and Portugal attracting more than 8% of Europe’s FDI last year, cities from the two countries are proving to be increasingly attractive to foreign investors. Barcelona ranked top of the major cities.

While Spain and Portugal may have made up two of the original 'Pigs' economies – joining Ireland and Greece as the eurozone's post-global recession crisis areas – the countries have managed to achieve relative stability in their FDI attraction. Spain and Portugal combined made up 8.37% of the total 2015 capital expenditure on greenfield FDI projects in Europe, according to crossborder investment monitor fDiMarkets. Similarly, the two countries attracted 8.28% of all FDI projects in the same year.

In an assessment of inbound greenfield FDI from 2011 to 2015, Barcelona ranked top for large Spanish and Portuguese cities with populations of 400,000 or more, combining capital expenditure and project numbers per 100,000 people between the two years. The city is an undisputed economic powerhouse for the region and ranked as the fifth most popular destination city for FDI in Europe across all sectors. For the three top sectors by project numbers highlighted for this study – namely software and IT, business services and financial services – Barcelona was in the top two for each.
Catalonia's El Prat de Llobregat ranked top in the smaller cities category for locations with populations of between 50,000 and 150,000. This performance was based on its strength as a hub for air, rail and marine transportation. It also benefited from its close proximity to the Barcelona Free Zone. This led to the city being ranked fifth overall in the transportation sector for the entire region, ahead of major coastal cities such as Porto.

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