09 May

Foreign investment in Spain rose to 36.12 billion euros in 2017, the highest figure since 2008

Foreign investment in Spain in 2017 rose to 36.12 billion euros, the highest figure since 2008 and up about 0.7% from the previous year, according to data from the Foreign Investment Register at the national Department of Trade (Invest in Spain, ICEX).

Spain is one of the foremost receivers of foreign investment in the world. The largest foreign investors in Spain are the United States and the main countries in the European Union such as the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy.

The foreign investment Spain receives is becoming progressively diversified in terms of its source, reflecting the growing importance of developing countries in international economic relations. Major Latin American multinationals are choosing Spain as a base for launching their investments in the European market. The 20 largest investors in Spain in regard to stock include Mexico, which is the sixth largest foreign investor in Spain, and Brazil, at number 11. Spain is also increasingly valued as a destination for investment from Asia –particularly from China and Japan–, and from the Persian Gulf countries.

Key sectors

Investment by foreign companies is also particularly important in more technology-intensive sectors and with greater added value, such as information and communication technologies, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, agri-food, tourism, real estate, industrial machinery and equipment manufacturing, consumer goods, logistics and transport, business services including financial services, and the aeronautical and aerospace sector.

The favorable performance of the direct investment received by Spain in 2017 can be explained mainly by the increase in foreign investment in the form of new contributions to companies by investors (setting up new companies and capital expansion), and this investment also has the greatest impact on economic growth and employment. In 2017 it accounted for 78.7% of gross productive investment, up 52% over 2016.

According to the FDI Markets database (produced by the Financial Times Group), in 2017 Spain was the second largest European receiver of greenfield foreign capital projects after the United Kingdom. Last year 628 greenfield projects from abroad were implemented in Spain. These projects represented an investment volume (Capex) of almost 17 billion USD and created over 56,000 jobs.

Appart from this figures, take into account that ICEX has just published the report “Spain: your partner in Europe. Business Opportunities”, which talks about the macroeconomic situation and structural reforms in Spain, the business climate and business opportunities. Click here for further information. And remember that if you are thinking about set up a company in Spain, or if you have workers in Spain, don´t hesitate to contact our team of experts.

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