felip puig

Catalonia welcomed 15.6 million foreign tourists in 2013

January 21, 2014 07:07 PM | ACN

In 2013, Catalonia was the first tourist destination in Spain. It received15.6 million foreign visitors, meaning 25.7 % of the total number of international tourists in Spain (one in four). The figure represents an 8% increase over the previous year. The Balearic Islands were in second place, welcoming over 11 million tourists (18.3%), a 7.2% increase. The Catalan Minister for Business and Employment, Felip Puig, stressed that tourist spending also increased significantly, generating €14.2 billion in 2013, that is to say 14% more than the previous year. At Spanish level, the number of foreign visitors reached a new record: Spain welcomed 60.6 million tourists in 2013, making it the third favourite travel destination in the world, behind France and the United States.

Catalan Government is working on a National Pact for the Industry

January 8, 2014 08:44 PM | ACN

The Catalan Government has welcomed the 138 proposals issued by a council of business associations, trade unions, academic experts and leading professionals, who form the so-called ‘Agreement for the Industry’ platform. The President of the Catalan Executive, Artur Mas, stated that those proposals are “a possible seed” for a broader agreement: a National Pact for the Industry that will define the priorities and main guidelines of Catalonia’s industrial policy for the next decade. The Catalan Minister for Business and Employment said that the 138 proposals coincide with “between 70 and 80%” of the Executive’s industrial policies. However he pointed out that the Government couldn’t bring all of them on board for budget or jurisdiction limitations.

Electricity companies not to cut off supply to people in need

December 5, 2013 04:08 PM | ACN

The Catalan Government wants energy companies not to cut off the domestic power supply to people in financial difficulties who are temporarily unable to pay their bills. The Catalan Ministry of Business and Employment aims to fight so-called ‘energy poverty’: people who are obliged to do without electricity or gas because they simply cannot afford the bills. In the current economic crisis, thousands of Catalan households (around 20%) are facing this problem, which means they cannot use the heating during winter or they have problems cooking meals. In order to achieve this objective, the Catalan Executive is looking at modifying Catalonia’s Consumption Code to include this initiative fighting ‘energy poverty’.

Registered unemployment in Catalonia drops by 1.11%, the fifth consecutive monthly reduction

August 2, 2013 09:20 PM | ACN

By the end of July there were 6,859 fewer people registered at the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) than a month ago, which leaves the total number of registered unemployed individuals at 610,429. The current amount of jobseekers is now the same level as September 2011. Unemployment levels have been decreasing in Catalonia for the last five consecutive months. In addition, last July’s drop is the most significant reduction in this month of the year since 2010. In the whole of Spain, the unemployment rate decreased by 1.36%, with 64,866 fewer people registered at the Public Employment Service offices. This means that by the end of July there were 4,698,814 individuals registered as unemployed in Spain. The Catalan Government states that, if the trend is kept during the second semester, the economic crisis would have reached “its lowest level” earlier this year.

Unemployment drops by 24,878 people in Catalonia, registering the largest drop in June since 1996

July 2, 2013 11:12 PM | CNA

Registered unemployment in Catalonia decreased by 3.87% in June compared to the previous month’s figures. June is a month when unemployment tends to be reduced due to summer jobs, but last month registered the highest drop since 1996. The total number of people registered as unemployed at the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) by the end of June reached 617,288 individuals. However, compared to a year ago, registered unemployment increased by 1,712 people, 0.28% more than in June 2012. In the whole of Spain, registered unemployment also increased in annual terms (+3.2%) and decreased compared to a month ago (-2.6%). Catalonia is the Autonomous Community where unemployment decreased the most in monthly terms. Furthermore, in the Lleida Province (Western Catalonia), unemployment also decreased in annual terms.

Grimaldi unveils its new €20 million ferry terminal at Barcelona's Port

July 2, 2013 01:37 AM | CNA

The Italian ferry company has built a 63,000 square metre terminal at the Costa dock, with an investment of €20 million and a capacity of 3,600 passengers per day. The new terminal will allow the city of Barcelona to gain a new urban area, since the space accessing and surrounding the terminal will be integrated into the city for the first time. Urban planning work will be concluded by the end of the year, announced the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias. The terminal has restaurants, bars, shops and free Wi-fi, and will allow the boarding of passengers and goods.

Registered unemployment in Catalonia dropped by 2.26% in May compared to April

June 5, 2013 12:18 AM | CNA

By the end of last month, 14,829 fewer people were registered at the Catalan Public Employment Service, which leaves the total number of registered jobseekers at 642,166 individuals. This represents a 2.26% drop compared to the figures from April, meaning that registered unemployment decreased in Catalonia for the last three consecutive months. May is a month when unemployment tends to drop thanks to temporary summer jobs, mostly related to the tourism industry. In the whole of Spain, unemployment decreased by 1.97% in May, with 98,265 fewer people registered as unemployed. This leaves the total number of people registered as being without a job and looking for one at 4,890,928 individuals in Spain. The Catalan Government welcomes “the positive horizon” shown by the May figures but it considered them to be “insufficient” as yet.

Seat, Nissan, Ficosa, Gestamp and Doga back up the creation of an automation cluster in Catalonia

May 1, 2013 12:10 AM | CNA

The President of the Catalan Government announced the initiative which will aim to develop an industry and knowledge cluster of the automation sector. The cluster would profit from the multinational companies based in Catalonia, the country’s industrial sector traditionally linked to cars and bikes, the export infrastructures, Barcelona’s car fair, the Formula-1 racing circuit and the innovation, design and education centres. The new cluster is fully supported by the Catalan Government, since automation is one of the main engines driving Catalonia’s economy. It aims to strengthen the sector’s competitiveness, foster cooperation between companies, facilitate the education and training of professionals, develop innovation and implement strategic agendas such as sustainable mobility and electrical vehicles.

Russian tourism could increase by 10% in the Costa Daurada thanks to a new orthodox church

April 26, 2013 08:19 PM | CNA / Marc C. Griso / Xavier Pi / Laia Ros

The Friends of Russia Foundation is planning to build an orthodox church on the Costa Daurada, the southern coast of Catalonia. The new temple would be the first Russian orthodox one in Catalonia and the biggest one in Spain. It is aimed at Russian visitors, the most emerging touristic market in the area over recent years. The construction of the temple could mean a 10% rise in Russian tourists on the southern Catalan coasts. Its location will be made public at the end of March. Besides, according to the Catalan minister of Business and Occupation, Russian tourism will grow 40% in Catalonia this year. Last year one million Russians spent their holidays in Spain, and 600,000 stayed in Catalonia. Out of this 600,000, 70% chose the Costa Daurada, followed by the Costa Brava.

The Catalan Government attracted 37% more foreign investment in 2012 than in the previous year

April 23, 2013 09:03 PM | CNA

47 foreign investment industrial projects, bringing in €331.88 million, landed in Catalonia last year through ‘Invest in Catalonia’, a programme from the Catalan Government. This represents 37% more investments than in 2011. The projects created 2,324 new jobs and they also allowed companies to keep 2,566 positions. Besides, the Spanish Ministry for the Economy stated that foreign investment in Spain dropped by 43% in total and by 14% in Catalonia. The Catalan Business Minister, Felip Puig, explained that the Spanish Ministry data includes financial investments. However, Puig emphasised that the Spanish Ministry’s report also states that industrial and manufacturing investments in Catalonia increased by 6.2% and 11% respectively.

Barcelona to host an international United Nations congress on tourism in large cities in 2014

April 20, 2013 12:32 AM | CNA

The announcement coincides with the kick off of Catalonia’s International Tourism Fair (SITC), which takes place in Barcelona from the 19th to the 21st of April. The news was announced by Taleb Rifai, the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and the Catalan Minister for Business and Employment, Felip Puig. The United Nations tourism congress takes place every two years. Furthermore Rifai praised the SITC’s international projection, since this year it has replicated the number of participating countries and has the United Nations’ support.

Booking.com to open a customer support centre that will create 250 new jobs in Barcelona

March 20, 2013 04:31 PM | CNA / Carlota Guerra

Booking.com is a Dutch hotel and accommodation booking company. Leader in its sector, it has decided to open in Barcelona one of its 5 customer support centres worldwide. In the context of the current economic crisis, the arrival of the company in the Catalan capital is positive because Booking.com has announced that the opening will create 250 jobs. Catalan Business Minister Felip Puig emphasised that the decision of the Dutch company proves that “Barcelona and Catalonia are attracting poles”.

Nissan will assemble its new saloon car model in Barcelona

February 4, 2013 11:12 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

After having reached an agreement on the measures to increase competitiveness with the trade unions last week, the Japanese multinational car manufacturer finally confirmed on Monday that its Barcelona plant will be building Nissan’s new saloon car model as of July 2014. The decision will bring in a direct investment of €130 million, creating 1,000 direct positions in the Nissan factory and 3,000 indirect jobs in the Catalan automobile parts supply industry. After seven months of talks, including a critical period when Barcelona seemed to be out of the race, the Nissan managers and trade unions finally reached an agreement early last week, based on a 20% salary reduction for new workers and guaranteeing the oldest jobs. The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, emphasised that Nissan’s announcement confirms that Catalonia is “an attractive and reliable country”.

Nissan confirms that Barcelona is in the race to build its new sedan car again

January 29, 2013 10:36 PM | CNA

After having ruled out Barcelona because unions refused to sign Nissan’s final offer of modifying working conditions and reducing salaries in order to increase competitiveness, the unions made an about-turn. With the Catalan Government’s mediation, the main union signed Nissan’s final offer and the two others (CCOO and UGT) presented their own cost reduction plan, accepting almost all of the company’s requirements, including the dual salary scale. After a day-long negotiation between the Catalan Business Ministry and the unions, CCOO and UGT agreed to sign Nissan’s agreement if the company guaranteed the jobs of the existing workers. Nissan has accepted and now the European branch will put its Barcelona plant forward to the Japanese headquarters, which will soon allocate the new car production.

Trade unions make a last attempt to attract Nissan’s new car model to Barcelona by proposing their own cost reduction plan

January 28, 2013 10:28 PM | CNA / Esther Romagosa

After Nissan’s announcement that Barcelona would not build its new car model, the Catalan Government and the trade unions have been trying to persuade the Japanese company to change its mind. The six-month negotiation was derailed ten days ago, when Nissan considered the talks to be over as the unions refused to sign its final proposal. However, the company has not announced where the new car will be built yet. The union representing the majority of the Catalan plant’s workers has already signed Nissan’s proposal, but the unions CCOO and UGT – the main ones in Catalonia – have insisted on presenting their own proposal, based on Nissan’s need to make reductions of €30 million. A few days ago, Nissan stated that it was too late, but now it says it will study the union’s proposal to look at the details.