Barcelona’s Global Business Landscape: A snapshot of the international company presence growth

In a remarkable economic feat, Catalonia has experienced a surge in foreign business activity, with a staggering 62% increase in the establishment of foreign companies over the past decade. There are currently 9,255 foreign companies established in Catalonia as of 2023, a 62% increase from ten years ago.


These figures have been revealed in the study «Directory of Foreign Subsidiaries in Catalonia, 2023«, carried out by ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment. 



Foreign Companies: A Snapshot of Growth

The report underscores the dynamic growth of foreign companies in Catalonia, with a quarter of them emerging in the last five years. Among the notable additions are well-known names such as Rovio, AstraZeneca, Lufthansa, Galderma, and Arxada, all of whom have chosen Catalonia as their strategic business location.


Geographical Diversity:


Catalonia’s appeal extends globally, with companies from 90 different countries establishing their presence in the region. Notably, the study highlights the prevalence of multinationals from the United States (15% of the total), France (14%), Germany (12%), the United Kingdom (10%), and Italy (8%). The growth of subsidiaries from the United States, Japan, Singapore, and China stands out, showcasing Catalonia’s magnetism on the global stage.


Sectoral Strengths:


The foreign subsidiaries in Catalonia span a spectrum of sectors, contributing to the region’s economic diversity. The automotive sector leads with 16%, followed by food (14%), chemical (12%), pharmaceutical (7.5%), and ICT (4%) in terms of turnover. This diversified portfolio signifies Catalonia’s ability to attract businesses across industries, creating a robust and multifaceted business landscape.