Barcelona at a Glance
Working in Barcelona123RF
The city's ideal location and relatively stable economy are just two of the reasons for working in Barcelona.
Without a doubt, expats in Barcelona benefit from the city’s convenient location right by the Mediterranean Sea. Barcelona has in fact been a major hub for business and trade for centuries. Thus, expats with plans on working in Barcelona’s trading and manufacturing industries may have found just the right place. However, aside from the city’s traditional sectors, tourism and culture are also on the rise. After all, Barcelona is considered a major center for art, architecture, and design.
Barcelona’s economy contributes significantly to Spain’s income by generating a quarter of Spain’s GDP. The highly diversified structure of its economy and the weight of its industrial base turn the city into a culturally and industrially vibrant center, even in these times of crisis.
Barcelona’s Key Sectors
While you are working in Barcelona, you will quickly realize that the tertiary sector plays an important role within Barcelona’s economy, mostly because it provides most jobs in the city. However, the manufacturing industry and various other fields also contribute significantly to Barcelona’s economy. In this section, we are introducing you to some of these sectors.
The ICT Sector
The ICT sector is considered one of the major contributors to Barcelona’s economy. The sector combines IT and telecommunication with audiovisual systems which make up new ICT applications. The ICT sector is highly productive. With over 1,700 companies and 155 research institutes, Catalonia and particularly Barcelona make up a major ICT hub. Working in Barcelona’s ICT sector gives you a particular advantage as you benefit from social, commercial, institutional and educational programs in Barcelona.
Although the biotechnology sector is still developing in Barcelona, it has grown significantly throughout the last five years. The pharmaceutical and chemical industries in Catalonia are closely linked to this sector. Barcelona’s biotechnology has undergone the biggest expansion throughout the last five years and has grown by about 30%.
Expats, who are curious about the biotechnology sector, have made the right choice working in Barcelona. After all, Catalonia is an important location in terms of pharmaceutical development. About 50% of pharmaceutical labs, 60% of the production, and 66% of all companies doing business in this field are located in Catalonia. Here, you will also find Spain’s main pharmaceutical companies: Almirall Prodesfarma, Esteve, Ferrer Internacional, and Uriach.
Catalonia and the greater Barcelona region are among the leading agriculture clusters within Europe. The sector accounts for about 12% of all Spanish companies, 23% of operating revenue, and 20% of employment. As a strategic sector within the Catalan economy, agriculture makes for about 15% of the country’s overall turnover.
Barcelona’s Infrastructure and Work Force
The city’s infrastructure is another aspect adding to its popularity. For instance, Barcelona International Airport connects Catalonia to all major centers within Europe. However, it also handles flights to many international destinations, such as Singapore, Tel Aviv, or New York. With a large budget and big extension plans, the airport is prone to grow even further. Moreover, Barcelona offers excellent connections via train on different domestic routes.
Barcelona boasts a multicultural workforce, with a significant part of the population hailing from a country other than Spain. Thus, the majority of people in Barcelona not only speak a language other than Spanish, they also adapt perfectly to the global environment of the city. Most expats working in Barcelona are employed in the services sector. The abundance of private and public education institutions produce a very well-educated work force.