Spain's second city and most important industrial centre
Barcelona is Spain’s second largest city, with over 1.5 million inhabitants. Barcelona’s diversified economy (60% services, 36% industry) has steadily expanded during the past decade. Home to just 4% of the Spanish population, the city contributes 14% to the national GDP. Key industries include manufacturing, textiles, electronics, media and tourism.
Barcelona is the economic, cultural and administrative capital of Catalonia. Claiming 25% of the national production and 19% of total Spanish GDP, the autonomous community of Catalonia is the most important industrial region in the country and one of the richest regions of Europe (fourth highest GDP of the EU’s 254 regions by purchasing parity).
They make good things in Catalonia... things the rest of the world wants to have!
In Catalonia alone, there are 48,500 packaging consumer companies, and 37,200 more are located in nearby Comunidad Valenciana & Aragon.
Barcelona is Spain’s creative powerhouse. Drawing on a rich tradition of art, craftsmanship, architecture and commercial design, it is one of Europe’s media capitals. According to Barcelona Media, the communications industry (including product design and innovation, advertising and print, broadcast and online media) generates 4% of local Gross Value Added.
It is also an international port and logistics centre: a gateway between Spain, Europe and the Mediterranean strip. Barcelona is at the forefront of the “Pyrenees-Mediterranean Euroregion”, which encompasses Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Aragon and south-east France.
Accounting for 23% of the sector’s total output in Spain, Catalonia is home to more than 3,500 food and beverage companies, including giants Nutrexpa, Freixenet, and Codorníu i Torres, as well as foreign multinationals such as Danone, Nestlé, United Biscuits, Pepsico, and Unilever.
Seven of the world's top ten pharmaceutical companies are established in Catalonia, including Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck, Sanofi Aventis, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and the Roche Group. About half of Spain’s chemical production takes place in Catalonia, focused on the city of Tarragona. Locally based giants in this sector include the BASF Group, Dow Chemical Ibérica, Ercross Tarragona, Henkel, Repsol Química, and Bayer Hispania Industrial.
In the electronics sector, the region accounts for 44% of Spain's total turnover, 54% of which is exported. More than half of these manufacturers are funded with foreign capital: Sony España, Sharp Electronics, Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric, to name a few. Catalonia is the primary producer of small household appliances.