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- This figure is up 97% from the same three-month period in 2018
- It is the third highest first-quarter figure since 2009
In the first quarter of 2019, Catalonia attracted a total of €704.5 million in foreign investment, according to data published recently by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism. This figure is up 97% from the same three-month period in 2018, which saw €357.4 million in investment. Foreign investment in Spain as a whole, however, was down 41% year-on-year for the first quarter.
Despite this growth, it must be noted that the figure is still far off that of the first quarter of 2017, which was €1.03 billion. It is important to remember that, as a whole, foreign investment dropped 11.7% in 2018, year-on-year, with a total of €2.99 billion, to the lowest level since 2012. Nevertheless, the figure for the first quarter of this year is the third highest first-quarter figure since 2009.
In this regard, it is important to note that the Catalan Ministry of Business and Knowledge announced the 2018 foreign investment data for Catalonia, which beat the all-time record number of projects managed and executed, with a total of 84 projects, up 20% from 2017. These projects generated a total of 5,455 jobs, 70% more than in 2017 and 7.2% of all job creation in Catalonia in 2018. 63% of these were highly qualified jobs, with professional profiles in sectors like R&D and ICT.
According to a report by consultancy firm EY, furthermore, Catalonia once again had more foreign direct investment projects than any other autonomous community in Spain in 2018. Catalonia led foreign direct investment, with 108 initiatives. Madrid was second, up from 31 to 82 projects.
Of the projects that landed here last year, the United States lead the ranking with a total of 20 initiatives, which makes up 23.8% of all foreign investment. Japan was second, with 12 projects and 14.3% of the total, and the United Kingdom, third, with 10 projects and 11.9%. In fact, Europe lead foreign investment in Catalonia with 54.8%, followed by the Americas, with 27.4%; Asia with 16.7%; and Oceania, with 1.2%