The British Chamber of Commerce presents the barometer on British investment in Spain at the PTA


Forum UK-PTA

The UK maintained its position as the second largest investor in Spain in 2018, with 3,130 million euros

The British Chamber of Commerce in Spain has advanced at the PTA (Andalucía Technology Park) a selection of figures, which will form its IV Barometer on Climate and Outlook of British Investment in Spain, developed in conjunction with Analistas Financieros Internacionales (Afi). These figures show that in 2018, UK foreign direct investment (FDI) in Spain reached 3,130 million euros.

The United Kingdom maintained its position from last year as the second largest foreign investor in Spain in terms of the volume of FDI flows (excluding foreign-securities holding entities - ETVEs), only behind the United States, and ahead of countries such as Germany, Italy and France.

Despite a slight fall with respect to the 3,870 million euros of investment registered in 2017 – which marked the highest historic value – the figure for 2018 is three times the figure registered in 2015, for example.

In the words of Derek A. Langley, vice president in Andalusia of the British Chamber, “this data consolidates British investment in Spain in spite of the outcome of the UK´s European Union membership referendum in 2016, and proves that beyond the current geopolitical juncture, the United Kingdom and Spain maintain their strong and deeply rooted bilateral relations”.

Fernando Ferrero, Director of Strategic Investments at the Innovation and Development Agency of Andalusia (IDEA), reminded everyone that Andalusia has strong social and economic connections with the United Kingdom: “The UK is the primary foreign market in terms of tourists visiting Andalusia with over 2.8 million tourists. It is also the main country for direct foreign investment in Andalusia and the fifth market for Andalusian exports”. In this context and referring to Andalusia’s offer as a place of excellence for investment, he added that “the IDEA offers a comprehensive service to investors including - if the project so requires - simultaneous access to advice and mentoring, direct incentives, complementary financing, and aid in researching partners, technological services, and office space for its chosen location”.

The IED stock extends the upward trend which begun in 2013

The advance of these figures, which will be incorporated into the fifth edition of the Chamber´s Barometer, expected to be made public during the final trimester of the year, also update the available data regarding IED stock in Spain. In 2017 – the most recent year available – the UK consolidated itself as the second largest investor in Spain, with 15% of that stock, valued at 59,918 million euros. This figure was 2,400 million higher than the amount reached in 2016.

By sector, the accumulated British IED stock was focused on telecommunications (16,466 million), tobacco (6,179 million) and metallurgy and manufacturing of iron and steel products (4,941 million). Additionally, it highlights the strong entry of investment in activities supporting extractive industries, with 4,177 million euros, situating it as the fourth highest sector attracting British investment in Spain.

British investment in Andalusia

For its part, Andalusia is the fourth autonomous community in Spain in terms of incoming British investment since the beginning of recordings, with over 1,500 million euros received since 1993 (of which more than 360 million euros are linked to the current growth cycle 2013-2018). This positions the United Kingdom as the all-time primary investor in the region and the second most important in the past six years. In 2018, British companies invested in mainly in the agri-food and real estate sectors. Another noteworthy fact is the total investment British companies made in R+D in Andalusia during this growth cycle, accumulating to almost 24 million euros since 2013.

British companies’ investments in the region help maintain approximately 13,000 jobs, according to latest recordings issued at the end of 2015