An independent Catalonia would be 11th in the EU in terms of exports

Article published at Catalan News Agency (ACN), 17th June 2016.

Photo: Cranes working at Port de Barcelona (by ACN)

Barcelona (CNA).- Catalan companies’ exports to the rest of Spain and to the whole of the EU represent 47.7% of Catalonia’s GDP, which is 14 percentage points higher than the EU average (33.2%). Thus, an independent Catalonia would be the eleventh country in the EU in terms of exports, ahead of Austria, Denmark and Finland. 2015 marked a new record for Catalan exports, reaching 102,487 million euros and Catalan exporter companies already represent 34.4% of the Spanish figure overall. Regarding exports per capita, an independent Catalonia will rank ninth, with 13,650 euros, ahead of France, United Kingdom and Portugal, according to figures released by the public business competitiveness and internationalisation agency, ACCIÓ. According to Catalan Minister for Business and Knowledge, Jordi Baiget, “the most important figure” is the 16,422 Catalan companies which export regularly. A figure which, besides marking a historic record, the government wants to increase.

47,409 Catalan companies exported goods or services last year, meaning 32.2% of Spain’s total. Although this is not a record figure, their figure was higher in 2013, reaching 49,075, what is “significant” according to Minister Baiget is that there are 16,422 Catalan companies which export regularly. This figure, which represents the highest figure since 2008, refers to those companies which have being selling abroad for the last four years.

The sectors which led the exports were the automotive and chemical sector (17.1%) followed by food and beverages (11.7%). Electronic products registered the best evolution, growing by 20.1% in comparison to last year.

Exports to the EU lead total foreign sales, with 65% of the total. France, Catalonia’s first trading partner, accounts for 15.3% of exports, and together with Germany (11.9%), Italy (8.8%), Portugal (7.11%) and the UK (6.4%) occupies the top five positions in the ranking, representing 49.5% of the total. Catalonia exported to the rest of Spain 37.7% of sales, representing 38,648 million euros.

The rest of Europe accounts for 7.1%, followed by Latin America (6.5%), Asia (6.4%) and Africa (6.2%). The Middle East and North America each account for 3.7%.

Evolution wise, sales in the European Union rose by 6.6%. To be noted are increases in sales to Italy (+14.6%), the UK (+10.7%) and Germany (+9.5%), while sales to France, fell by 0.8%. To the rest of the country, sales grew by 0.7% and amounted to 38,648 million euros. Exports to outside of Spain totalled 63,839 million euros, representing an increase of 6.1%.

The most significant increases occurred outside the EU, with increases, for example, of 21% in sales to the United States, 28% to Saudi Arabia, 14% to China, 50% to Cuba, and 37.6% to Argentina, although sales to Brazil (-5.5%) and Venezuela (-44.8%) fell.

Barcelona, the biggest exporting region

Barcelona’s exports accounted for 78.4% of the total, with a volume of 50,057.4 million euros, representing an increase of 6.4%. However, the highest increase recorded was in the province of Lleida, with 9.6 %.

The study also highlights that the number of regular exporters (those companies which have exported for the last four consecutive years) grew throughout Catalonia, by 3%.

Read the full article here.

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