The current economic situation has not prevented foreign investors from glancing at Spain when they are looking for destinations for their business initiatives. In fact, direct foreign investment shot up by 62% in 2011, which situates us as the fourth European country as far as having the most projects of this type received in the last year, only behind the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. These facts mean a turning point for Spain, which had seen how the foreign investment initiatives were dropping in the last two years.
This is one of the main conclusions for our country from the latest report from the Ernst & Young European Attractiveness Survey 2012. The report combines the analysis of international investments in 43 European countries during the last year, 2011, with a survey given to more than 840 executives from around the world, and their opinions about where and how they will complete worldwide investments in the coming decade.
During 2011, Spain received a total of 273 projects from foreign investments, as opposed to the 169 from 2010, which entailed the generation of a total of 9,205 jobs, 19% more than in 2010. This increase has, for Spain, created an increase in the European ranking of investor attraction, up to fourth place, as a preferred destination. In addition, it has also gained market share, passing from 4% in 2010 to 7% over the whole of foreign investment in Europe in 2011.
In sectoral terms, investment projects in the Services and Software sectors have been those of the greatest attraction generated in our country, followed by Food, Transportation, and Machinery and Equipment. Among the European cities that have attracted the most initiatives, Barcelona and Madrid occupy third and fourth place, respectively, according to the facts from the report. Like in previous years, investors from the United States are our main clients, with 19% of the total projects registered in 2011, followed by the Germans, the French, the British, and the Dutch.
In the words of José Miguel Andrés, President of Ernst & Young in Spain, “due to the economic difficulties that our economy is going through, the facts of the report show that foreign investors see us as an attractive destination where their capital can make a profit, thanks to, for example, the size of our economy, the quality of our communication infrastructures or our highly qualified workforce. For this reason, it is necessary to keep expanding those reforms destined to increase the confidence of the markets and that position us as a highly competitive investment destination.”