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Barcelona one of Europe's most innovative cities, says new report

Chamber of Commerce study says Catalan capital continues to attract talent and investment, but must improve security

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04 December 2019 06:01 PM

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ACN|Barcelona

Barcelona is among the leading cities in Europe and the world in terms of innovation, competitiveness, and in attracting talent and foreign investment.

That is according to the 17th annual report from the Barcelona Observatory, a joint initiative by Barcelona Chamber of Commerce and Barcelona City Council.

Set up to compare Barcelona with its leading European and world counterparts, the Observatory finds that the Catalan capital is the fourth most innovative city in Europe.

The report also says that Barcelona is one of the most "preferred" cities for setting up a startup, coming 11th in Europe and 22nd in the world in terms of competitiveness.

It is also a key destination for foreign investment, which the report attributes to its capacity to attract R&D projects, in which it comes fourth, after Paris, Singapore and Bangalore.

Meanwhile, Barcelona is the fifth "most attractive" city in the world for digital talent, and a "fortress destination" for international congresses, coming fifth in that category.

City unaffected by political instability

Chamber head, Joan Canadell, said during its presentation on Wednesday that the report shows that the 2017 independence bid "has not negatively affected" the city's standing.

"The studies – with data from international organizations – show that in 80% of the indicators, we either equal or better the situation of the past few years," he said.

However, Canadell did point out that the capital has fallen in terms of security, coming 26th in the world in terms of how safe it is in The Safe Cities Index 2019.

"We have to take on the challenge of becoming one of the safest cities in the world," added Barcelona's deputy mayor, Jaume Collboni.

Canadell also pointed out Barcelona's poor showing in terms of infrastructure and sustainability, and he called on the state authorities to invest more in Catalonia.

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  • Head of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce Joan Canadell (right) and the city council's Jaume Collboni on December 4, 2019 (by Marta Casado Pla)

  • Head of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce Joan Canadell (right) and the city council's Jaume Collboni on December 4, 2019 (by Marta Casado Pla)

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