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Practical Investment and Business Guide for Chinese companies


  • 1.Catalonia,the homelandof BarcelonaPractical Investment& Business Guidefor Chinese companies

2. Catalonia,the homelandof BarcelonaPractical Investment& Business Guidefor Chinese companies 3. ContentsInstitutional welcome1Introduction to Cataloniaand Barcelona2Ten reasons to investand do business3Cultural aspectsrelated to business4Setting up in Catalonia5Taxation system6Labour regime7Procedure for obtaininga work and residence permit8Useful contactsAppendix 1Appendix 26 36 701042205430607980A publication of theBarcelona City CouncilDepartment of Economy, Enterprise and EmploymentInternational Economic DevelopmentLlacuna 162, 3rd floor08018 Invest In CataloniaGeneralitat de CatalunyaPaseo de Gracia, 12908008 Barcelonacatalonia.comPublisherSilvia Valls, Creacions Editorials SintagmaTranslationAddenda SCCLDesign and layoutBerta Hernndez, Begraf StudioBarcelona, June 2014 4. InstitutionalwelcomeWith a strategic location and outstanding opportunities,Catalonia is positioned to be a gateway for Chineseinvestment in Europe. A broad and diversified businesscommunity; an excellent infrastructure and transport net-work;a highly skilled workforce; prestigious universitiesand numerous colleges and research centres, in additionto an excellent quality of life, make Catalonia a valuablestrategic partner for Chinese investment projects.A good example of these capabilities is the position ofour country in recognised international rankings. Accord-ingto the Financial Times fDi Markets, in 2012 Catalonialed continental Europe in volume of foreign investment,having attracted some US $3 billion. Catalonia also ledin terms of the amount of employment created by theassociated projects.And in this regard, Barcelona stands out as a Europeancity capable of offering a range of premiere-quality instal-lationsand infrastructures. It also has great capacity totake on new challenges and major opportunities in thefields of innovation and R&D. In addition, it was chosenas the consecutive host city for Mobile World Congress,the most important international event in the field ofmobile technology and telecommunications.Aware of the importance of the Chinese market, theGovernment of Catalonia is working to create a favour-ableenvironment for business deployments. It is alsodriving high-impact measures and structural reformsin Catalonia and Spain to stimulate the economy andrestore growth. In addition, we are working particularlyhard on adapting our programmes and services to theneeds of Chinese investors.I hope that this practical guide will make it easier togain a better understanding of these and other aspectsand aid in the formation of links between Catalonia andChina through the establishment of institutional andbusiness partnerships. All of these efforts have the goalof strengthening ties in the area of investment recruit-mentand making Catalonia Europes leading gatewayfor Chinese investment.Artur MasPresident of the Generalitat de CatalunyaChina has experienced extraordinary growth in recentdecades and is today one of the worlds major economicpowers. More and more Chinese companies seek tobecome worldwide enterprises and establish a presencein international markets.Barcelona, owing to its privileged geostrategic locationand its industrial and commercial tradition, has thecapacity to serve as an excellent gateway to Europe,a platform for access to the Mediterranean and NorthAfrican region and a springboard to the vast LatinAmerican market for Chinese companies.Our city is the financial, cultural and administrativecapital of Catalonia, Spains most dynamic region anda major European city known for its open and entrepre-neurialspirit, its creativity and innovation, and its excel-lentquality of life.The Barcelona area has long been an attractive desti-nationfor foreign direct investment in Europe. In fact,Barcelona has Spains largest pool of foreign companies.These companies operate successfully and many expandtheir investments in order to broaden their activities inour territory. When you choose Barcelona as a place todo business, you choose a business friendly environmentthat offers a full range of infrastructures and services,a skilled workforce and competitive costs.This guide with useful and practical information forinvestment and business is an example of the interestthat Barcelonas city government has in fosteringmutually beneficial economic relations with China. Oneof the aims of the Barcelona Municipal Economic GrowthStrategy is to foster these relationships with strategicmarkets that attract investment, contribute to businessgrowth and create jobs.In this regard, the various agreements negotiatedbetween Barcelona and a number of Chinese cities playa key role. Barcelona is a sister city to Shanghai, withwhich it maintains close relations. In recent years wehave signed cooperation and friendship agreementswith other Chinese cities such as Hong Kong, Beijing andShenzhen. These agreements foster a climate of under-standingand willingness to strengthen cooperation inkey areas such as technology, logistics, design, tourism,urban development, trade, as well as others.I hope that this guide will promote the arrival of newChinese companies to Barcelona, a city of culture,knowledge, creativity and innovation. It will be a pleasureto welcome you to Barcelona and Catalonia.Xavier TriasMayor of Barcelona6 7 5. Casa Asia is a public diplomacy institution whosepurpose is to promote knowledge about Asia and thePacific region in Spain, and vice versa, as well as topromote and expand links with countries in this vastregion in the spheres of economics, education, cultureand institutional relations. The head office of Casa Asiais located in Barcelona, in honour of the traditionalbonds that Catalonia has maintained with great Asiancountries. The presence of this institution has beenmade possible thanks to the interest and determinationshown by local authorities.Casa Asia are very pleased to have actively participatedin the development of this guide for investors, as it willenable Chinese business leaders to quickly and effec-tivelygain familiarity with Barcelona and Catalonias richbusiness community. We hope that the guide will be auseful tool and significantly contribute to more intenserelations between Catalan and Chinese businesses.General Director, Casa AsiaIn recent years China has progressively increased itsforeign investment. Chinas non-financial foreign directinvestment amounted to US $90 billion in 2013, up16.8% over the previous period. In the coming years Chi-neseinvestment abroad is expected to surpass invest-mentsmade in China by other countries. Europe is in theinitial phase of a rapid expansion of Chinese investment.Some studies estimate that Chinas investment abroadbetween 2010 and 2012 will amount to US $1-2 trillion.A quarter of this amount is expected to go to Europe.We are encouraged by signs of a macroeconomic recov-eryin Spain and the prospect that foreign investmentin this country may reach pre-crisis levels in 2014. Thiswould definitely bode well for foreign capital. Also ofinterest in this regard is Spains role as a bridge-builderbetween Europe and Latin America.We place a high-priority on promoting Chinese invest-mentin Spain within the scope of bilateral relations be-tweenour two countries. In order to meet this objective,gaining familiarity with Catalonia is a must. We believenow is a good time to invest in Spain and Catalonia, andhence want to give our full support to the publication ofthis first Investment Guide to Catalonia for Chinese inves-tors.We believe you will find the opportunities you areseeking in Catalonia.Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Embassy ofPeople Republic of China in Spain8 9 6. 1.Introductionto CataloniaandBarcelonaCasa Batll, Paseo de Gracia. Antoni Gaud 7. 1.1. Cataloniaand its capital,BarcelonaCatalonia is a coastal territory in north-eastern Spainbordered by France and the Mediterranean Sea. Thisstrategic location has favoured an intense relationshipwith other territories in the Mediterranean region andEurope dating back more than 2,000 years.With an area of 32,106 km2, Catalonia occupies 6% ofSpains national territory. Its 7.5 million inhabitants com-prise16% of Spains total population.The Catalan economy is disproportionately significant:Catalonias GDP accounts for 20% of the entire SpanishGDP, while also comprising 25% of industrial GDP. In addi-tion,Catalan exports make up 26% of the Spanish total.Catalonias entrepreneurial drive, longstanding busi-nessand industrial tradition, solid production base andintense activity in foreign markets have historically madeit Spains economic engine. These factors are also proofof the competitiveness of its businesses.Catalonia enjoys national autonomous status as aself-governing region within the Spanish State and theEuropean Union. The Generalitat de Catalunya isthe institutional system under which the governmentof Catalonia, which enjoys broad powers in a rangeof areas, is organised.Catalonia is one of Europes leading economic andindustrial engines.1.2. Main economicindicatorsCatalonia in numbers (2012)AreaPopulationAverage temperatureWinterSummerDaylightGDPGDP per capitaExportsImportsInternational visitors32,106 km2 7,571.00016-17 C6 C30 C9 hrs/day 208 billion27,69858 billion69 billion15.5 millionNote: Average temperature taken from more temperateareas. Average hours of daylight based on spring andsummer calculationsSource: IDESCAT, INE and Ministry of Economy andCompetitivenessBarcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is a dynamic andinnovative city which is internationally recognised for itsdesign, creativity and talent as reflected in its architec-ture,cuisine, art and the major events that are held init and whose influence extends to the business world.Not surprisingly, Barcelona is Europes leading city withregards to quality of work-life balance.Barcelona enjoys a strategic posi