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Barcelona is among world's top 10 places to do business and first European city for shopping tourism

Barcelona has gone from 22nd to 7th place in the list of 468 European cities with the best economic prospects; it is ranked the 19th most competitive city in the world and the 10th in Europe; it stands at 10th in the world in terms of receiving new business investments; and it became the 4th city hosting the largest amount of congresses at world level. The report was produced by the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona in collaboration with the City Council. Furthermore, another study compiled by ESADE business school stressed that Barcelona is the 1st European city in money spent per tourist in shopping, ahead of London and Paris. The Mayor of Barcelona, ​​Xavier Trias, welcomed the news but also emphasised the ''shadow'' of having more than 100,000 unemployed in Barcelona, a number he finds “unbearable.”

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15 July 2014 04:55 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN.) - Barcelona has gone from 22nd to 7th place in the list of 468 European cities with the best economic prospects; it is ranked the 19th most competitive city in the world and the 10th in Europe; it stands at 10th in the world in terms of receiving new business investments; and it became the 4th city hosting the largest number of congresses at world level. In addition, Barcelona is the 6th most recognised city brand throughout the world, a ranking topped by Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris and Seoul. The conclusions of the Barcelona Observatory produced by the Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the City Council, indicate that the Catalan capital is doing "very well'', according to the President of the Cameral institution, Miquel Valls. The Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, welcomed the news but also emphasised the ''shadow'' of having more than 100,000 unemployed in Barcelona, a number he finds "unbearable." The Mayor nonetheless praised the findings of the Barcelona Observatory as "very satisfactory," casting a "very positive light" on Barcelona’s level of competitiveness, \u200B\u200Bbut stressed that there is no room to be complacent considering the high unemployment levels. Furthermore, another study compiled by ESADE business school stressed that Barcelona is the 1st European city in money spent per tourist in shopping, ahead of London and Paris.


The Barcelona Observatory study has now accumulated 12 editions, and is intended to examine the facilities for doing business, the level of knowledge and research, tourism, sustainability, the level of prices and costs and the labour market.

Attractive city to do business

The Catalan capital saw improvement in the 2013 edition on almost all fronts, especially in the area of \u200B\u200Bbusiness, where of the 468 European cities analysed, Barcelona ranked 22nd in the year 2012-2013, but ranked 7th place in the 2014-2015 edition, advancing 15 places in a year. In fact, together with Lombardy and Tuscany, Catalonia is one of the three most attractive regions of southern Europe to do business.

By its level of competitiveness, the Catalan capital was ranked in the 19th position in the world and 10th in Europe.

In this latest edition, the Catalan capital has been the 10th city in the world in attracting worldwide investment. With 518 projects in 2013, Catalonia was not far from the level of Beijing with 550 projects. In the last edition of 2012-2013, Barcelona occupied the 12th place. The data implies that 30% of new investments that came to Spain in 2013 were made in Barcelona, putting the city ahead of Madrid which absorbed only 18% of investments.

Barcelona, 4th world city organising congresses and conferences

Another field in which Barcelona stood out is the organising of international conferences. By 2013 the Catalan capital became the 4th city in the world for hosting conferences, and increased by 16% compared with number organised last year.

11th world city regarding scientific production

The Mayor of Barcelona was also "very satisfied'' by the fact that Barcelona is the 11th city in the world and the 5th European city in terms of scientific production. In the field of patents, the Catalan capital does not get a bad result and occupies the 19th position out of 1742 provinces and districts worldwide, putting the city firmly ahead of Madrid and Milan.

The main cruise port in Europe and 4th in the world

In the tourism sector, Barcelona remains Europe’s leading cruise port for the 12th consecutive year, and fourth in the world, behind the port facilities in Florida where cruise ships from the Caribbean dock.  

A competitive city

Regarding rising prices and costs, Barcelona has gone down in the rankings for the fourth consecutive year as a result of the crisis and currently stands in 85th position, while at the beginning of the crisis it was ranked 81st.  

With regards to taxation, Barcelona is well positioned, although Joan Ramon Rovira, Head of Studies at the Chamber of Commerce, has attributed this to the competence of the Spanish Government.  He said that most of the powers in this area are in the Spanish Government's hands. Regarding Corporate Tax, Barcelona's rates stand at 30%, over Germany at 29% and considerably above the European average of 22%.

In terms of the labour market, Rovira highlighted the high level of training in the Catalan capital where almost half of workers have completed university studies, an average substantially higher than the European average of 33%.

The most promising sectors in job creation in the coming months or years are the hotel, industry and services sectors, without including retail.

Barcelona, 1st European city for tourism shopping

Barcelona was unveiled as the number one city in Europe for tourist shopping, in another study also presented on Monday by the prestigious ESADE business school, which is based in the Catalan capital. The report was compiled together with UK company Value Retail. The study found that 34% of all tourism spending in the Catalan capital was directed at retail, placing Barcelona firmly ahead of London at 28%, Paris at 24% and Amsterdam at 19%.

Barcelona Mayor is optimistic and insists in the priority to reduce unemployment

In these years of economic crisis, Barcelona City Council has worked hard to preserve the Catalan capital's credibility with an economic policy that has not generated deficit and has maintained investment capacity, emphasised Trias. The City Council also acted under the principle that there cannot be welfare without economic activity. Thirdly, it has been working to improve the “unbearable” unemployment rate in the Catalan capital, insisted the Mayor.

Given these lines of action of the City Council, the Mayor emphasised that the results of the Barcelona Observatory are optimistic; showing a very promising position of the Catalan capital compared to the rest of the world and especially the rest of Europe. However, the main objective continues to be prioritising the reduction of unemployment.

The Mayor has defended the tourism sector, which represents 14% of the city's GDP, and highlighted the difficulty of continuing to lead the world ranking of European competitiveness and being a city that competes within a league of cities that are state capitals.

Xavier Trias drew attention to the fact that multiple surveys of residents in Barcelona indicate that 80% of citizens are in favour of tourism, and because of the weight of global economic activity in the city, this is a sector that should be further promoted and residents should know how to live with it.

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  • The entrance to the Mobile World Congress, the main international event of the cell phone industry, which takes place each year in Barcelona (by ACN)

  • The entrance to the Mobile World Congress, the main international event of the cell phone industry, which takes place each year in Barcelona (by ACN)