Chemical Sector

Industry Contact
Ana Elena Heras Aznar
Investor Services Manager

Spain's chemical industry is a sector that generates wealth and employment for over 3,100 companies, and is also an important appeal for foreign investment in the country.

Figures 2016 and International Projection

With a turnover of €63,000 Million in 2017 the sector accounts for 12.8% of the Gross Industrial Output and creates over 660.000 direct, indirect or induced jobs. What's more, roughly 94% of employees are on permanent contracts. Despite the international crisis the sector has accumulated in 2017 a 27% growth since 2007.

It is also the second largest exporter in Spain, reaching sales of over €35,345 Million on international markets, which now receive over 56% of Spain's production. The chemical industry comprises several sectors and produces raw materials that supply 98% of the country's productive economic activity.

Future Growth – New Investment

The chemical industry is the manufacturing sector that will undergo the greatest overall growth from now until 2030, at an annual growth rate of 4.5%.

This potential is an important attraction for investment. It is for this reason that FEIQUE (Spanish Chemical Industry Business Federation) and ICEX-Invest in Spain are collaborating for the promotion of Spain as destination for new International Chemical Projects and the dissemination of the Chemical Clusters’ offer and Services.

The report titled "Invest in Chemicals, Invest in Spain" explains the many competitive advantages Spain has to offer as a whole, especially for potential industrial investors. In fact the Industry with high penetration of multinational companies invested 12% of added value generated the industry in 2017.

The competitive advantages offered by Spain as a country make it an interesting platform in which to invest. Its strategic geographic location provides the country with great potential, not only on the national market, but also as a gateway towards other intensive markets. Spain is the EU country with the longest coastline, boasting 46 international ports capable of shipping goods abroad, and also has a great investment support structure and competitive labor costs. These are just some of its positive assets.


Another key competitive factor that encourages potential investors is the country's innovative and technological capacity. The chemical industry accounts for 25% of all investments made by Spanish industry as a whole in R&D and employs 22% of the research staff working in industrial companies. Both factors make it a strategic, competitive sector with international projection.

It is the sector among all industries with the highest expenditure in technological research and development in Spain.

As a result the country is attracting a great number of innovative projects. According to the International Data Base FDI Markets, Spain Ranks 2nd destination for Research & Development projects and 5th destination for New Chemical projects of Multinationals in Europe (period 2004-2017).


Spain is home to the largest chemical cluster in the Mediterranean area and southern Europe: ChemMed in Tarragona. Andalusia also has two large clusters in Huelva and Algeciras, while the Valencian Community and Murcia are significant chemical focus points in the Mediterranean. The north of Spain also boasts strategic points in the Basque Country, Cantabria and Asturias. Other important areas include Madrid, Aragon, Castile and Leon, and Castilla la Mancha.

International Meeting of the Industry: EXPOQUIMIA

Expoquimia International Show takes Place in Barcelona every three years. (Expoquimia is the largest forum for the chemical industry in southern Europe, playing host to 30,000 industry professionals and 500 exhibitor companies. Barcelona was once again the European capital of the chemical industry as it simultaneously held three shows Expoquimia, Eurosurfas and Equiplast.

2017 edition of Expoquimia (October 2nd-6th) hosted the 10th International Congress of Chemical Engineering and the second edition of the “Smart Chemistry, Smart Future”

“The Smart Place”, was focused on four major present and future themes that the chemical sector will be greatly contributing to: SMART WORLD Smart Cities; Energy & Water; SMART LIFE: Health & Food and New Technologies4U.


Last updated: 24|10|2019

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