Spain, a country to invest in

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For the eighth year the “Barometer of the business climate in Spain from the perspective of foreign investors” has been published by ICEX-Invest in Spain, Multinacionales por marca España, and the IESE International Centre for Competitiveness (ICC). The surveyed entrepreneurs were predominantly from Germany, the United States, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom, which are the main investors in the country.

On this occasion, the numbers indicate an ideal context for investing in Spain, with the best areas for investors according to the 2015 assessment being infrastructure, human capital, and quality of life. Additionally, economic recovery has resulted in optimistic projections from the increase in market size, making the country an attractive target for investments.

Although these four aspects are quite prominent, it should also be noted that there has been an improved assessment of all the evaluated areas, which in addition to those already mentioned include to factors such as taxation, environmental regulations, costs, financing, and innovation.

Investors have highlighted the quality of business schools and emphasize the importance of mobility via airports and railways as key aspects which have a positive impact on business development.

This study also depicts a scenario of the coming years, in which 95% of the surveyed investors plan to increase or maintain their investments from 2016 to 2018. For the 2017-2018 period, 95% of foreign companies have considered increasing or maintaining their workforce, and 96% believe that their turnover will be either maintained or increased.

If we take a look at the details of each country we can find similar outlooks despite certain specific aspects. For example, the countries with the greatest interest in investing are Germany, the United Kingdom, and France;and those with the best revenue forecasts for their companies are the United States and Germany.

On the other hand, there are also significant differences in the reasons for investing in Spain. US companies value the skills of the workforce, Italian businesses focus on cultural proximity and the Spanish language, and British companies place greater emphasis on the domestic market rather than access to other markets.

The publication also analyses the measures which could encourage further investment, having determined that some of the areas for improvement include the fiscal framework, reducing administrative burdens, and flexibility in the labour market, an aspect which has also been brought up repeatedly in previous reports.

These prospects are clearly positive and elucidate the fact that the market is continuing to show signs of recovery and as such we can expect for investment in Spain to continue to grow for at least the next two years.

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