FDI in Spain
FDI in Figures
In twenty years, Spain has become the ninth global economic power thanks to its cheap workforce, the spectacular boom in tourism and, starting from the year 2000, the real-estate boom. The development of foreign investments illustrates these changes well. Spain came to depend more and more on its added value, both in terms of training and R&D, as well as high-tech services. The country has therefore made a radical turn towards renewable energies (wind and solar energy). In 2013, Seville will have the greatest photovoltaic production platform on the planet. In addition to this, Spain wants to become one of the world’s key research actors. In order to fulfill these ambitions, it has recently developed the “Malaga Valley” project, which its sponsors hope will become the greatest European research and innovation center dedicated to information and communication technologies.
In 2009, Spain’s FDI stock was EUR 465.5b. FDI flows fell sharply in 2009 with a process of disinvestment. The acquisition of holdings of suverain wealth funds in the Spanish petroleum company CEPSA by the UAE International Petroleum Investment Company was the largest acquisition of 2009. Madrid is the main destination for FDI flows, accounting for 62% of the total.
In terms of FDI appeal, the country’s strengths include: proximity to Latin America, with the presence of a number of Spanish multinational companies, boom in tourism, its highly efficient transport network and development of renewable energies.
|Foreign Direct Investment||2007||2008||2009|
|FDI Inward Flow (million USD)||64,264||73,293||15,030|
|FDI Stock (million USD)||584,833||623,215||670,550|
|Performance Index*, Ranking on 141 Economies||76||59||114|
|Potential Index**, Ranking on 141 Economies||26||28||-|
|Number of Greenfield Investments***||445||548||387|
|FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****)||14.5||15.9||9.9|
|FDI Stock (in % of GDP)||40.6||39.1||45.9|
Note: * The UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index is Based on a Ratio of the Country's Share in Global FDI Inflows and its Share in Global GDP. ** The UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index is Based on 12 Economic and Structural Variables Such as GDP, Foreign Trade, FDI, Infrastructures, Energy Use, R&D, Education, Country Risk. *** Green Field Investments Are a Form of Foreign Direct Investment Where a Parent Company Starts a New Venture in a Foreign Country By Constructing New Operational Facilities From the Ground Up. **** Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) Measures the Value of Additions to Fixed Assets Purchased By Business, Government and Households Less Disposals of Fixed Assets Sold Off or Scrapped.
FDI Inflows By Countries and Industry
|Main Investing Countries||2009, in %|
|Main Invested Sectors||2009, in %|
|Information and communication||13.8|
|Finance and insurance activities||10.6|
|Transport and storage||7.7|
|Arti and leisure activities||2.7|
|Administrative and welfare activities||1.8|
- Form of Company Preferred By Foreign Investors
Public Limited (Sociedad Anónima) or Limited Liability Corporation (Sociedad Limitada (S.L.))
- Form of Establishment Preferred By Foreign Investors
- Subsidiary company
- Main Foreign Companies
- In June 2007, their number stood at nearly 9,000 of which 34% in the Barcelona area.
To browse through news about foreign companies who invest in Spain, visit the website of Interes (Investment promotion agency).
- Sources of Statistics
Bank of Spain
Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce
Why You Should Choose to Invest in Spain
- Strong Points
- The country's main strong points are flexibility and adaptability of economic operators and in the quality of life the country offers.
- Weak Points
- The country's weak points are the low productivity of its manpower, its weak competitiveness as well as a growing trade balance deficit. The complexity of the regulation system with regard to the 17 Autonomous Communities is also a hindrance to investment.
- Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
- Spain applies the principle of free establishment and non-discrimination. Foreign investors can operate any type of business and under the same conditions as a local investor. The CEE Council Directive no.
88/361/CEE dated June 24, 1988, concerning the free movement of capital between the residents of member States was adopted in the Spanish legislation by Law no. 18/1992 of July 1, 1992, and came into effect on July 4, 1992 and by Royal Decree
1816/1991 no. 1816/1991 of December 20, 1991 on Foreign Economic Transactions.
The gaming, television, radio and air transport sectors are protected by restrictions for the investors residing outside an EU member country; it is the same for businesses manufacturing and selling arms. In the latter case, these restrictions also concern investors within the community.
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A. The government of Spain recognizes the value of foreign investment and the economic importance of attracting more. There have been no significant changes in Spain's regulations for investment and foreign exchange under either the Socialist Party (PSOE) government that took office in March 2004 and was re-elected...
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