Thursday, 10 December 2015

FDI in Catalonia Grows Fourfold Despite Independence Process

Catalan exports account for a quarter of Spanish foreign trade

Despite the ongoing process towards independence of Catalonia, foreign direct investment, or FDI, has grown almost fourfold, a survey by Catalan employer's association Foment del Treball shows.

According to this study, the process towards independence is proving to be no hindrance to economic growth in Catalonia, contradicting what the Spanish government and other unionist lobbies argue.

Foment del Treball yesterday presented its Economic Situation Report [PDF, in Catalan], which indicates positive data for the Catalan economy. Foreign investment in Catalonia grew almost fourfold during the first half of the year. Growth in Catalonia stood at 280%, the strongest increase recorded in the whole of Spain, which overall has grown by 73%. In absolute terms, investment over the first half of 2014 grew by €1.4 bn. The vast majority of foreign investment –88%– comes from OECD countries, with 65% coming from European Union member states.

In response to journalists' questions on the effect of the independence process on the economy, the authors of the Foment report said that investments are not decided overnight. As Foment Chairman Joaquim Gay de Montellà said a few days ago, it was not true that companies were fleeing, and any relocations that had occurred depended more on tax policy issues.

In fact, only last week Barcelona Chamber of Commerce chairman Miquel Valls denied that companies were leaving because of Catalan independence claims, although he admitted companies may be relocating due to taxes being higher in Catalonia than in other regions, precisely due to the Spanish government underfunding the Catalan administration.

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