Catalan economy hits 19% of Spanish GDP for first time this century
Catalonia outgrows Spain with latest figures for foreign investment best since 1993 while president Puigdemont calls on Madrid to fulfill infrastructure commitments
Catalonia’s economy now makes up more than 19% of the Spanish economy, says a Catalan chambers of commerce report. The 19% figure is the highest percentage this century, finds the study published on Thursday, with an increase from 18.7% to 19.03% since 2011. “The 2016 economic balance was very positive and in 2017 a similar performance by the Catalan economy is expected, with a growth of about 3%,” stated the report.
Furthermore, the chambers of commerce point out that the country is coming out of the crisis “very quickly” and that 2016 GDP exceeded that of 2007 for the first time in this period. The statement also shows that the Catalan economy has been growing faster than the Spanish one since 2013, with a 1.9% average increase in GDP, four decimal points higher.
"Today, our country receives more foreign investment than ever, as it has grown by 32% in the past few years"
Carles Puigdemont · Catalan president
The Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, was at the report’s presentation and highlighted the figures in foreign investment. “Today, our country receives more foreign investment than ever, as it has grown by 32% in the past few years,” said the head of the Catalan executive. “The period including 2016 and the first quarter of 2017 has been the best year and quarter since 1993,” he added. Puigdemont believes international investors see the country as “a long-term reliable space” their investment.
At the same time he criticized the Spanish authorities for failing to meet their spending commitments on infrastructure in Catalonia, such as the so-called Mediterranean corridor. He was also critical of the Madrid’s refusal to transfer powers to the Catalan authorities in areas like El Prat Airport. These policies “prevent the country from facing the future with guarantees and from making the most of future opportunities,” he claimed. Nevertheless, he made it clear that Catalonia will not give up the struggle to gain these instruments in order for it to move ahead.