Barcelona: locational advantages and disadvantages
Barcelona is one of the world's twelve most successful
manufacturing cities. It has emerged as the Mediterranean's most important
trading and shipping route centre, with a striking range of industry from the
heaviest and lowest tech to the lightest and highest tech. It stands out from
the rest, believes the magazine 'Industry Week', simply because it is
best at developing, making, marketing, moving and managing products.
Barcelona: Industry Week Magazine's best of the best.
IndustryWeek's World-Class Communities (April 2001) report was independently
researched and written by IndustryWeek's editorial staff.
Barcelona's strategic location, on the Mediterranean Sea, at
the mouth of two river valleys that form natural inland routes through the
mountains, and close to the border with France has helped its emergence as
Spain's main industrial and commercial centre. But just as important are the
cultural factors and work ethic of the Catalan community.
The Mediterranean climate that creates an exceptional working
and leisure environment.
A long tradition of trade and commerce dating back to before
the voyage of Christopher Columbus to the Americas.
An ideal climate and fertile soils for high-quality
horticulture and wine production.
At the centre of a motorway network that links Barcelona with
France and the key Spanish industrial cities of Madrid, Zaragoza, Valencia and
Spain's most accessible and closest industrial region to
Europe's wealthy core markets.
Excellent rail network, soon to benefit from a high-speed link,
currently under construction, to the rest of Europe.
Other aspects of infrastructure, e.g telecommunications, that
are amongst the best in the world.
A very supportive regional government.
Business incubator schemes, e.g. Barcelona Activa, funded
by the city government and private institutions
A very strong work ethic. A 'maņana' culture is rarely
A strong tradition of using education to get ahead, thanks to
the historically large middle class in the region.
High-quality education at the university level.
International schools, including British, American, German and
Other quality of life advantages including some of the world's
best foods, (the El Bulli restaurant in Roses was rated the best in the world in
March 2002 by Restaurant magazine), and ski resorts within two hour's
drive from the city.
Located in an area of outstanding and unspoilt natural beauty.
Large local market of 4 million people.
Wage levels amongst the lowest in Europe.
Lower housing and other costs compared to the European core
An exceptional art and architecture cultural heritage that
attracts large numbers of higher-echelon high-spending visitors.
High-quality Mediterranean beaches.
A reputation as a fashion Mecca rivalling Milan or Paris.
A key destination for low-cost airlines.
Non-EU company products manufactured in Barcelona can be sold
in Europe tariff-free.
The economic advantages of clustering (cumulative causation).
A 'we speak Catalan here' culture which tends to drive some
would-be foreign investors towards Madrid.
On the periphery of the European core market with high
High electricity costs.
A three-hour afternoon shut-down for many businesses.
Low government investment incentives, such as subsidies or