Foreign investors maintain a positive rating for the climate for doing business in Spain

  • 90% of foreign companies plan to maintain or increase their export volumes in 2013.
  • The best rated areas in the Spanish business climate are infrastructure and human capital.
  • The study is based on surveys of more than 250 foreign companies operating in Spain.

INVEST IN SPAIN and the Centre for International Competitiveness (ICC) IESE presented the sixth annual “Business Climate in Spain Barometer 2012. From the perspective of foreign investors”. According to data provided by the study, the general assessment of the Spanish business environment is positive, giving it an overall rating of 2.7 out of 5. The overall assessment of the Barometer 2012 is similar to that obtained in 2011, having seen a slight decrease in the score from the previous year, which was 2.9.

In terms of company expectations, 90% expect to maintain or increase their export volumes in 2013, 63% to maintain or increase their income, and 70% of the companies surveyed have plans to maintain or expand their investments next year, although these figures are down slightly from the previous Barometer.

Among the main strengths presented by the Spanish business environment for foreign investors, the highlight is the area of infrastructure, specifically the high-speed train and airports. Also greatly appreciated is the availability of both skilled and unskilled labour and issues relating to the quality of life.

Moreover, the rating has improved from last year in relation to the costs of dismissals and the adaptation of labour laws to the needs of the company. Also, foreign businesspeople estimate that the speed and efficiency of commercial courts has improved in 2012.

The Business Climate in Spain Barometer suggests areas where there is room for improvement, including some aspects of the labour market, funding and innovation. Investors would like reforms which make the labour market more flexible and recruitment subsidies. As for funding, they would like greater availability and lower costs of the same, and they highlight the need for incentives and grants for R&D&i.

Also, there are still some areas for improvement held over from previous editions, such as language skills of Spanish workers, the cost of broadband in communications infrastructure or the administrative burden on the operation of companies.

The presentation was made by the CEO of INVEST IN SPAIN, José Carlos García de Quevedo and the Secretary General of IESE in Madrid, Santiago de la Cierva. The study is based on surveys of more than 250 foreign companies operating in Spain This allows us to identify the strengths which need to be maintained, as well as the main policy areas on which more efforts need to be focused.

<>INVEST IN SPAIN is the area of ICEX Spain Export and Investment whose mission is to promote, attract and encourage foreign investment in Spain, as well as reinvestment by foreign companies already established here, becoming a reference point for foreign investors and a nexus for institutions at state, regional and local level which are dedicated to the promotion and investment attraction.


IESE (Institute of Higher Business Studies) is an organisation dedicated to higher education for business. The ICC is one of its research centres, whose objective is to promote rigorous research and learning in the field of competitiveness and its implications in different fields. Led by Professor Antoni Subirá and created in collaboration with the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness led by Professor Michael Porter at Harvard University, the ICC places particular emphasis on the European Union and its role in the creation of a favourable business climate.

To access the document, please click here.

Last updated: 18|09|2013

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