Façade of Malaga city hall with the Alcazaba in the background. Ñito Salas
Malaga's municipalities are the ones that invest the most in Andalucía as a whole

Malaga's municipalities are the ones that invest the most in Andalucía as a whole

According to the latest official data, local councils in the province spent more than 300 million euros to improve their assets and infrastructures, compared to just over a billion euros for the entire Andalucía region

Cristina Vallejo

Tuesday, 23 January 2024, 17:07

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Malaga city is well known to be the economic capital of Andalucía. Now data shows that this claim extends to the whole province, which includes the Costa del Sol. Figures from the Ministry of Finance of all municipal budgets in Spain for 2022 (and previous years) shows that Malaga's local council investments exceed those of the rest of Andalucía's provinces in very important areas, particularly those of Seville which has 1.95 million inhabitants, compared to Malaga province’s 1.71 million.

In 2022 local councils in Malaga province budgeted 301.5 million euros for investments. This figure is practically a third of the investments made by Andalusian town councils last year, which amounted to 1.06 billion euros. Malaga’s investment is more than 40% higher than that made in Seville, which was 213.35 million euros. The third place in the ranking is occupied by Almeria: the municipalities of this province committed themselves to investments amounting to 103.65 million euros.

There are very different evaluations among entrepreneurs. Natalia Sánchez, executive vice president and general secretary of the Malaga Confederation of Entrepreneurs (CEM), said that the numbers reflect that municipal administrations are aware of the importance of investments to improve the competitiveness and productivity of the local economy. Sánchez also highlighted that this makes the province attractive and it receives outside investment and talent. José Carlos Escribano, new president of the Malaga Chamber of Commerce, also celebrated the figures and said Malaga must have a significant investment in infrastructure. It is essential to maintain leadership, he warned.

Other business sources are somewhat less accommodating. They claim that Malaga’s investment is not appreciated as it is not visible, for several reasons: to begin with, the province has more complex infrastructures than the rest of the region; and, the needs are much greater than those that are covered; also, as well as being a province with very large towns it has an increasing population, compared to a large part of the rest of Andalucía, which in some other provinces experiences a population loss. The large volume of resources that local administrations pour into Malaga, therefore, in the opinion of these sources, is diluted.

The treasury report details that that practically a third of the investments budgeted in Malaga in the last year – just over 90 million euros – were dedicated to replacing infrastructures and goods, but this is exceeded by the sum of new investments both in infrastructure and in the operational operation of services (50 and 72 million euros, respectively). Seville beats Malaga in one area, that is in investments in heritage assets, where the 6.85 million euros from Malaga pales next to the 33.15 million euros spent in Seville.

In any case, as a whole, the Malaga municipalities number more investors than those of the rest of Andalucía. And this does not happen only in this data from 2022. It has been recurrently like this for at least the last ten years, according to data from the Treasury. These also highlight other issues. For example, that the weight of Malaga's real investments in Andalucía as a whole has grown over the years: if in 2013 the 135.67 million euros budgeted in real investments in the municipalities of the province accounted for 22.6% of the 600.76 million of Andalucía as a whole, in 2022 it has scored maximums, representing Malaga more than 28.3% of the total.

Malaga also stands out in the growth rate of investments, with an allocation 122% higher (that is, more than than that of a decade earlier. Malaga and Seville are the two provinces that stand out for the evolution of the volume of their investments. Malaga municipalities also transfer the most resources to public entities and commercial companies and make loans to both public and private sector players.

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