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Spain sets record for greenfield projects. The investment boom certifies the international value of the country

Spain was awarded €34.178 billion in gross terms in investment in 2022, the second highest figure since records began in 1993, according to data published in the DataInvex foreign investment register by the Spanish Trade Secretariat. An increase of 13.9% compared to 2021.

Reyes Maroto, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, underlines how this result testifies to “the strength of the Spanish economy and the enormous confidence that foreign investors have in Spain“. In such a difficult and uncertain international context, Spain is able to offer “security and certainty thanks to the deployment of the ambitious investment and reform agenda that the Spanish government has set in motion through the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan”.

Investment Monitoring: Countries and Sectors

Analyzing the data from a geographical point of view, it can be observed that the United States is the main investor for Spain, with 27.7% of non-ETVE investment flows to the country. In second place is the United Kingdom (17.8% of investments), followed by Germany (14%).
The communities of Madrid, Catalonia, Valencia, Andalusia, and the Basque Country received 87.6% of all foreign investments aimed at Spain.

If we consider the data by sector, 55.1% of foreign investments in Spain are directed to services, followed by industry (42.2%), construction (2.5%), and the primary sector (0.2%).
The telecommunications industry set the record for the last 10 years, thanks to a sum of investments exceeding 2.713 billion euros. A very encouraging result is reported by renewable energy, which overall received over 2.8 billion euros, mainly addressed to solar energy (the fourth best result ever) and wind power (the third best result ever).

The value of greenfield investments

This panorama is also the result of the acquisition of 860 greenfield projects, of which Spain is the sixth largest beneficiary worldwide.
The term ‘greenfield’ refers to a type of foreign direct investment, in many cases of a multinational company, aimed at setting up a branch in a foreign country and building a new business from scratch.
These investments, exceeding $44.560 billion, have created more than 96,000 jobs, according to fDi Markets, the Financial Times Group’s database of greenfield projects. 

Lastly, it should be noted that Spain was the third main recipient of greenfield projects in the renewable energy and aerospace sectors. And the fourth regarding:

  • information, communication, and internet infrastructure technologies;
  • projects in the automotive industry;
  • R&D activities;
  • clean hydrogen projects.


Read also: Ceramics industry: the Spanish Chamber of Commerce solicits government intervention
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