Economic development

Economic revitalisation, competitiveness and job creation


Economic revitalisation has been one of the AMB's priorities during the period 2011-2015. Thus, with the aim of reinforcing metropolitan assets and turning them into a source of new jobs and business activity, the Economic Development Department has been created under new powers granted by Law 31/2010.

One of the main outcomes of this has been the implementation of the "Friendly for Business" programme, whose main objectives are to reindustrialise the region, drive economic activity, encourage new investment and create high added-value jobs, through a set of services aimed at small and medium investors, both foreign and local.

The AMB has also encouraged the creation of jobs and economic recovery through specific investment plans, such as the Metropolitan plan to support town councils, stimulate economic activity and improve quality of life; the Plan to support municipal social policies; and the Metropolitan investment plan itself.
"Friendly for Business" coordinates the processes and resources that serve existing businesses in Barcelona and the other 35 metropolitan municipal councils, through a strategy of cooperation. Drafting the programme involved 150 technicians, municipal council representatives and socioeconomic stakeholders from across the territory, who invested a total of 400 hours' work to define the following priority lines of work:
  • Improving the strategy to attract investment
  • Quality of information
  • Administrative simplification
  • Effective support for new investment

More information
Economic development
Friendly for Business
website platform
Website and mobile phone platform to access land offers for industrial and economic activities
The "Friendly for Business" programme uses web-based tools as one of its main strategies for promoting the territory's assets, and as a way of offering relevant information and facilitating procedures for business owners.

For the first time, the metropolitan area now has an online tool that brings together data on the supply of land available for business activities. Information available via this platform includes town planning aspects and qualifications for sites and buildings, ancillary services available, the supply of public transport available for a specific site, features of the property and services, and up-to-date pricing statistics. An app has been built around the same database covering industrial premises and land which allows access to information and searches via mobile devices.

This makes it easier to carry out the work for any investments they are planning to make, as it brings together most relevant information into one website. It should be borne in mind that this platform covers between 70% and 80% of the available land and buildings for economic activity, and it is expected that this will increase as the service becomes more established. Available office space will also soon be incorporated into this search engine.

Furthermore, this platform will enable the needs of users to be assessed by mining the search data, so that new information on the economic dynamics will be available to help continuously improve economic development activities.

More information
Search for industrial estates, buildings and plots
Naus-i-solars app
website platform
Information on the catalogue of services for businesses and entrepreneurs available in the metropolitan area

One of the key objectives of the "Friendly for Business" programme is to improve the service provided to investors and business owners embarking on the process of launching a new business in the metropolitan area. The other major objective is to offer a homogeneous service across the territory. That is, that there should be no substantial differences among the different municipalities.

The roadmap for standardising administrative processes used by the different municipal councils has been established, so that anyone who wants to start a business has one single point for all relevant administrative requirements. The roadmap has also been established that will drive the reengineering of processes within the different administrations, so that in the near future they will share information and substantially reduce the administrative procedures required for launching a new business or moving an existing one within the metropolitan area.

The process of rationalising the map of economic services offered by municipal councils has also been pushed forward, as well as the coordination of Business Support Offices and the creation of Single Points of Contact - in collaboration with local governments, Barcelona Provincial Council and the different socioeconomic stakeholders. This initiative aims to facilitate the provision of services to business owners and, in turn, increase the effectiveness and efficiency of resources aimed at economic development and support for business.

More information
Services for businesses, investors and entrepreneurs
The BCN Growth Centre facility hosts metropolitan investment agents
"Friendly for Business" is promoted as a new service in the metropolitan area to support new investment projects. The AMB will work with Barcelona City Council and will have metropolitan investment agents within the Barcelona Growth Centre, which Barcelona Activa has opened within the 22@ District to be a centre for services aimed at businesses.

These agents will be given specific training so that they can support business owners all the way from presentation of the investment project right up to when the new business opens its doors: administrative procedures, looking for premises, investments, contacts with business and commercial networks, and all aspects related to incorporating workers and investors coming from outside the metropolitan area.

Business owners and investors looking to establish their business in any of the 36 metropolitan municipal districts, and looking for support, are therefore offered a comprehensive and tailored service.

"Friendly for Business" also plans to create a network of front offices distributed throughout the metropolitan area, by opening up over the next three years 12 metropolitan Business Service Offices (OAE) to serve as "one-stop shops" for business owners and investors.

More information
Barcelona Growth Centre
industrial area
Improving infrastructures in industrial estates and economic activities areas

During the period 2011-2015, the AMB's economic development services have focused on policies to promote economic activity via support services and by supporting new investment. The objective has been to lay the foundations for economic recovery, to advance the metropolitan area's economic assets so that new economic activity and new jobs are generated when the economic situation allows.

In parallel, the metropolitan administration has incorporated into its programme of investment activities –which during this term has exceeded 418 million euros– needs related to metropolitan economic projection, so that any investments in infrastructure and urban improvement take into account the positive impacts generated from promoting growth and the economic fabric.

The AMB has, under the Metropolitan plan to support municipal councils, stimulate economic activity and quality of life, approved a Programme to improve infrastructure and competitiveness of industrial estates and areas of economic activity. The objective was to improve infrastructure and services for industrial and economic activity locations in order to facilitate the activity of established companies and to encourage new companies to set up there.

This programme has allocated 30 million euros for financing up to 70% of the cost of projects presented under invitations to apply on a basis of competitive bidding. The aim is to multiply the impact of the investment made into the metropolitan area and to kick-start employment and boost the network of small and medium-sized companies in the metropolitan area that have produced most of the projects financed.

During this term, activities have also been implemented aimed directly at creating jobs, such as the Plan to support social policies, which has allocated 30 million euros to finance projects to directly create employment, strengthen local employment networks, and improve employability conditions. This plan has enabled the financing of 117 projects and the hiring of more than 3,800 people.