Barcelona positions itself as the eighth most attractive city to work abroad

May 15, 2024
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The Catalan capital consolidates itself as the European city with the best investment attraction strategy and as a global leader in the organization of international congresses. Barcelona reaffirms its position as a leading city in sectors such as technology, science, and research, and maintains its ability to attract international talent. This is revealed by the report from the Observatori Barcelona 2023, promoted by the City Council and the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce. The analysis shows that the Catalan capital has positioned itself as the eighth favorite city worldwide to work abroad, surpassing cities such as Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Paris, according to the Decoding Global Talent 2024 report by the observatory.

This attraction of talent also translates into the attraction of investments, as the city is recognized for the third consecutive year as the best in Europe in attracting foreign investment projects, according to the FDi Cities and Regions of the Future 2024 report by the Financial Times group. Additionally, Barcelona has entered the Top 10 resilient cities, occupying the ninth position globally and fourth in Europe, according to the Resilient Cities Index, which places it in the second global position in terms of public transport mobility for residents. Regarding the cost of living, Barcelona ranks 75th among the cities with the highest cost of living globally and rises to 19th among eurozone cities.

Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship

For the eighth consecutive year, the city is among the top 25 in the world in terms of global competitiveness, according to the Global Power City Index. This ranking, included in the Observatori Barcelona report, compares 48 major cities and places the Catalan capital in the 22nd position globally and 11th in Europe, ahead of cities such as Brussels, Geneva, and Milan.

This competitiveness is also reflected in the digital realm, where Barcelona ranks 13th globally and 6th in Europe. Additionally, it is the 9th in innovation in Europe and, for the sixth consecutive year, the third favorite European city to launch a startup. Barcelona’s entrepreneurial ecosystem continues to grow, with more than 2,100 startups, making it the first in Spain and the sixth in Europe, and entering the global Top 5, occupying the fourth position.

Furthermore, the entrepreneurial activity rate among residents in Barcelona’s municipalities was 7.3% in 2022, with a notable increase in female entrepreneurship. At 6.8%, it surpasses the female rate in countries such as Switzerland (6.3%) and Austria (6.1%), and has reduced the gap with the male rate by one point. Additionally, the female employment rate in Barcelona stands at 77.9%, the highest in the city’s history and above the EU average. Overall, the city closed 2023 with an unemployment rate of 6.1%, the lowest since 2007.

Barcelona positions itself as the second city worldwide in the field of urban intelligence Furthermore, the Catalan capital ranks eighth globally and third in Europe for its attractiveness to visitors, entrepreneurs, and residents, according to the World’s Best Cities Report 2024. From a tourism perspective, it is fourth in Europe for international overnight stays, and El Prat Airport has regained the seventh position in Europe in terms of passenger numbers. Additionally, the Port of Barcelona leads as the European homeport in terms of cruise passengers, in the context of advancing the construction of the new cruise terminal to move them away from the piers closest to the city.

The report, published for 21 editions, highlights Barcelona’s role as the second city worldwide in the field of urban intelligence. The Smart Cities Index Report ranks it only behind Seoul in this area, enhanced in the Catalan capital through events such as the Smart City Expo World Congress. Fairs like this, the MWC, and the ISE elevate Barcelona as a congress city, where it has regained the top position in the number of attending delegates and remains fourth in the number of organized congresses, according to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). The city consolidates its leadership in this field, being the only one that has continuously remained in the global Top 5 for hosting congresses and international meetings for the past two decades, in a sector that is key for the Catalan capital.

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