Foreign investment forecast ‘very positive’ despite first quarter drop
Business minister says this year’s 62% fall in funds from abroad will be offset over next six months
Foreign investment in Catalonia fell 62% in the first quarter of the year, attracting 345 million euros compared to 902 million in the same period last year, say figures from Spain’s ministry of industry, trade and tourism. However, the Catalan business minister, Àngels Chacón, insisted on Wednesday that the forecasts for foreign investment into Catalonia for the whole year remain “very positive,” despite the large drop in the first half of the year.
While last year’s 902 million euros of investment was an all-time high, the 345 million registered this year is the lowest since the first half of 2014 (€267m), and lower than in any quarter in 2017. Yet according to Chacón, a number of announced large investments for this year have yet to materialize, while the minister also pointed out that the figures from the Spanish ministry only refer to companies with their headquarters registered in Catalonia.
"There are investments that have already been announced and if we look at all of them together we are talking about 102 projects and more than five billion euros of investment,” said Chacón, who added: "Over time, the pessimistic and catastrophic messages end up being corrected by objective data." The minister also pointed out that the Catalan government prefers to look at investment figures not “over quarters but over years.”
A few days ago the authorities announced that the foreign investment acquired by the Catalan government in the first six months of 2018 is the equivalent of 70% of all investment of its kind from the whole of last year. On Monday, the Catalan business minister said that the 175 million euros of investment attracted until June 2018 is almost three quarters of the total acquired throughout the whole of 2017, which was some 241 million euros.
After ruling out the possibility that the announced investments were actually ones that were frozen in 2017, Chacón went on to stress that the decline in foreign investment volume last year does not translate as a lower number of projects or jobs generated. According to Catalan government data, the funds from 70 investment projects generated some 3,217 jobs.