Britain tops list of investors in Spain in first quarter of 2022

The British Chamber of Commerce presented its study of the amount of investment flowing from the UK at a meeting in Malaga last week

S. CONAGHAN / N. HESKETH MALAGA.

The British Chamber of Commerce for Andalucía presented its 7th Barometer on the Climate and Outlook of British Investment in Spain at a meeting held in Malaga city last week. The mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre was in attendance.

The report studies the amount of investment from UK firms in Spain and the outlook for the future. It was good news.

Based on data for all 2021, inward foreign investment from the UK reached 3.3 billion euros, up 17% on 2020 and moving Britain up to be the biggest investor ahead of the US at the close of the year.

In the first three months of 2022 alone this figure reached 2.5 billion euros, up 347% on the same quarter a year earlier, according to the Chamber of Commerce report.

The exceptional 2022 data was driven by big investments in the sporting and entertainment sector; British based CVC Capital funds invested in the Spanish football league, LaLiga, earlier this year.

In terms of Andalucía, there were 144.8 million euros of direct investment in 2021 from the UK. The vast majority of that money (89.7%) was directed at the food sector, which received 130 million euros. The rest of investments were made in construction (1.9%), real estate (1.8%) and science and technology (1.8%).

Just over three quarters of UK firms in Spain surveyed expected to increase their investment in the country in 2022, although half said that movement and trade had become more restricted post Brexit, with extra controls.

The aspect of Spain that British investors valued the most was quality of life followed by availability of services.

The worst-rated factors for business were instability in government and weaker support for Research, Development and Innovation from the public authorities.

"The UK is an important country for Spain, Andalucía and Malaga," said Malaga mayor Francisco de la Torre at the close of the event.