Number of foreign tech companies in Catalonia grew 21% last year to 1,369

Investment in sector from abroad reached €493m, up 18% compared with 2018

Joan Romero, head of Catalonia Trade & Investment (by Marta Casado Pla)
Joan Romero, head of Catalonia Trade & Investment (by Marta Casado Pla) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

March 10, 2020 07:19 PM

Catalonia ended last year with 1,369 foreign technology companies, a steep rise of 21% compared with 2018, says the Catalonia Trade & Investment agency.

The government body aimed at making Catalan businesses more competitive says the firms are mostly devoted to ICT, Industry 4.0, biotechnology, electronics and health.

Other spheres covered by the foreign companies include medical equipment, smart cities, digital and audiovisual content, mobile technology, video games, and R&D.

In terms of their country of origin, some 22% of the companies were from the United States, 18% from Germany, 14% from France, and 14% from the United Kingdom.

Over 4,000 tech jobs created last year

In all, 2019 saw some 493 million euros of foreign investment linked to technology coming into Catalonia (18% more), creating up to 4,185 jobs (24% more).

In fact, between 2015 and 2019, Catalonia received 2.3 billion euros of foreign tech investment, 38% more than in the period between 2010 and 2014.

Also in the past five years, new foreign investment in technology in Catalonia created 13,537 jobs, over 50% more than in the previous five-year period.

"Magnificent figures," says business agency head

"These magnificent figures highlight the robustness of the foreign technology sector in Catalonia," said the CEO of Catalonia Trade & Investment, Joan Romero.

Romero said that a main factor that makes Catalonia attractive to foreign tech investment is the availability of local talent and the potential to attract talent from abroad.

The CEO also pointed to the country's "dynamic ecosystem of start-ups," which he said now totals some 1,500 firms around Catalonia.