The Spanish chemical industry is a strategic sector of the economy. Comprising over 3,000 companies, it is an important generator of wealth and employment and one of the most attractive sectors for international investors.
Industry data 2015
With a turnover of 58.06 billion euros, the sector accounts for 12.4% of the Gross Industrial Product in Spain and generates 540,000 direct and indirect jobs. This is stable employment (95% of the contracts are permanent), and it is among the sectors with the highest productivity per employee.
It is also the second segment in terms of exports, with over 32.74 billion euros exported to international markets in 2015. 57% of Spanish chemical production is destined for export.
The chemical industry includes a variety of sectors, and produces the raw materials that are incorporated into 98% of the productive processes in the economy.
This is one of the industrial sectors with greatest projection for growth worldwide. It is estimated that a 4.5% year-on-year growth will be necessary through to 2030 to satisfy the new international demand.
This potential is a factor for attracting new investment. The industry invested 2.05 billion euros in 2015.
FEIQUE (Spanish Chemical Industry Business Federation), in collaboration with ICEX-Invest in Spain, has compiled the report entitled "Invest in Chemical, Invest in Spain" as a showcase for potential investors of Spain's main competitive advantages for the development of business in this particular industrial sector.
The promotion of Spain's chemical clusters for the installation or extension of activities is another of the key areas addressed by FEIQUE and Invest in Spain.
Competitive advantages of the Spanish chemical industry
Spain as a platform for international business.
Spain's competitive advantages and its international position make it an attractive platform for investment.
Its geographic location has enabled it to play a key role as a supplier for the European market, and it has natural access to markets in North Africa and Latin America–this last enhanced by shared economic and cultural ties.
Spain has the longest coastline in Europe, and is home to 46 international ports and advanced transport and logistical infrastructures. Labor costs are competitive with the rest of Europe.
Another factor for attracting industrial investors is the technological and innovative capability of Spanish industry.
The Spanish chemical industry accounts for 24% of the country's total industrial investment in R+D+i, and it employs 21.1% of the research staff working in industrial companies.
It is the largest industrial investor in research and technological development, with collaboration agreements to promote industrial competitiveness with the Spanish Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.
According to data from fDi Markets, the Financial Times investment monitor, Spain is the second destination for R+D+i projects in the chemical industry in Europe (41 countries), and is fifth in the number of new projects from multinationals (period 2004-2014).
Spain is home to Chem Med, the largest chemical cluster in the Mediterranean and Southern Europe, located in Tarragona, which offers its services and facilities to investors.
The autonomous region of Andalusia is the site of the Algeciras and Huelva chemical clusters, which are currently being promoted for new investment. The Region of Valencia and the Region of Murcia are important focuses for the chemical industry in the Mediterranean.
In northern Spain there are production areas in Asturias, the Basque Country and Cantabria. Other production points are Madrid, Aragon, Castile-León and Castile-La Mancha.
International Industry Event: EXPOQUIMIA
The international trade fair Expoquimia is held every three years in Barcelona, and is one of the main events in the sector, attracting 30,000 professionals and 500 exhibitors in three salons: EXPOQUIMIA, EQUIPLAST AND EUROSURFAS.
The 2014 edition saw the presentation of the Smart Chemistry-Smart Future initiative, a corporate project headed by FEIQUE and leading companies in the industry to present the innovative potential of the industry.
The 2017 edition of the fair will take place from 2 to 5 October in Barcelona, and host the 10th World Congress of Chemical Engineering.
Last updated: 10|04|2017