H1 2015: Foreign Inv’t In Spain Up By 73% To €8,533M

24 September 2015 – El País

Foreign investment in Spain experienced a sharp increase during the second quarter of 2015, almost tripling with respect to the previous quarter, according to data published from the investment register by the Ministry of the Economy and Trade. Madrid and Cataluña, which increased their respective shares of the total, attracted more than 88% of the €8,533 million foreign investment that Spain received during H1 2015. This figure represents an increase of 73% compared with the same period in 2014.

The health of the Spanish economy is reflected in the confidence of investors. The second quarter of this year has represented a sample of the opportunities that foreign investors are glimpsing in our country. Foreign investment between April and June amounted to €6,150 million, the best quarter in recent years. This figure means that the volume of foreign funds entering Spain more than doubled in Q2 2015 compared with the same period last year.

Most of this foreign capital was invested in Madrid (€4,229 million) and Cataluña (€1,302 million) in Q2 2015. They represent the two main magnets for foreign investment in Spain, together accounting for almost 90% of the funds received, up by 8 p.p. with respect to the same period last year. (…).

The figures for foreign investment in Cataluña during the second quarter of the year reversed the situation seen last year when investment decreased there by 13%, even though it grew in the rest of the country, by 14%. During the first six months of the year, investment in Cataluña almost quadrupled, up from €515 million in H1 2014 to €1,959 million in H1 2015.

“The figures are better than normal”, said the Minister for the Economy, Luis de Guindos (pictured above), during an interview, where he explained that “productive investment is growing in Cataluña because no one thinks that secession will happen”. And he added: “Investors consider that the independent secessionist scenario is impossible from a legal point of view”. Some of these investments related to automobile factories in Cataluña.

Meanwhile, the Community of Madrid attracted foreign investment amounting to €4,229 million during the second quarter of 2015, 61% more than in the same period in 2014. The autonomous region led by Cristina Cifuentes (PP) issued a statement yesterday celebrating the fact that “Madrid managed to attract 68.8% of all of foreign investment in Spain, i.e. three times more foreign investment than the next largest autonomous region, Cataluña”. Foreign investment in the País Vasco decreased during the first six months of the year.

The Community of Madrid has analysed the evolution of foreign investment during the period 1993-2015 and concluded that the capital is becoming an increasingly attractive region for investors. 22 years ago, investment in Madrid accounted for 57% of total investment, but that weight has grown in recent years. “Since the start of the crisis, international investors have increased their commitment to Madrid versus other regions”, said the statement from the Community of Madrid, which attributes the improvement to “policies based on the removal of obstacles impeding the creation of companies, the liberalisation of trading hours and the reduction of the tax burden”.

Original story: El País (by Jesús Sérvulo González)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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