Economic Overview & Business Opportunities
Located in south-western Europe, Spain is a country that occupies almost 85% of the Iberian Peninsula. The Spanish mainland is bordered to the south and east almost entirely by the Mediterranean Sea; to the north by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean and Portugal. Home to 47.1 million people, its population density (at 91.4 inhabitants per square kilometre) is very much lower than that of most Western European countries.
Spain has the 14th largest economy by nominal GDP in the world, and it is among the largest in the world by purchasing power parity (PPP). The country is a member of the European Union, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the World Trade Organization. The Spanish economy is currently the fifth largest in the European Union, and the fourth largest in the Eurozone, based on nominal GDP statistics.
The tourism sector has long contributed as the nation’s main source of income, and Spain has the second biggest tourist industry in the world by spending. 71% of the nation’s labour force makes up the country’s services industry while 4.2% of labour forces contributed to the agriculture sector. The agriculture sector produces grain, vegetables, olives, wine grapes, citrus, beef, pork, poultry, dairy products and fish. Other than that, Spain is also producing footwear, food and beverages, metal manufactures, chemicals, shipbuilding, automobiles, textiles, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment. As the world’s biggest producer of olive, Spain produces 5,276,899 metric tonnes of olive annually. Production of olive in Spain is mainly concentrated around the Andalucian region where about 75% of the total olive production in Spain is obtained. Furthermore, Spain is the world’s third largest wine producer and Europe’s biggest producer of lemons, oranges, and strawberries.
France is the biggest export partner of Spain within Europe, where 17% of Spain’s exports go to France. Despite the economy recession due to the financial crisis of 2007–08, the Spanish economy manages to weather through the difficulties and maintains sustainable growth. In 2015, the Spanish GDP grew by 3.2%, a rate not seen since 2007, before the financial crisis struck. Strong GDP growth was seen in 2016, with the country growing twice as fast as the Eurozone average. This marks a sustained and stunning comeback after the big housing market collapse years ago. Spain’s economy is currently on a broadly steady footing and it has outperformed most of its European peers last year as renewed confidence, an improving labour market, and solid export growth kept the recovery in a high gear.
Spain is seeking to attract more and more foreign investment to the country. In fact, Spain’s well-educated work force, state-of-art infrastructure, domestic market, and export opportunities have attracted foreign investors over the past three decades. If you are thinking of expanding your business portfolio globally, Spain is definitely a hot spot for you to expand your business.
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Emilio Alvarez Arjona