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25 April, 2017
The Basque Country is presented as an attractive destination for industrial investment

The Basque Government holds a monographic event with 30 German industrial companies, which learnt about examples of success like the Mercedes-Benz case

Minister Arantxa Tapia, in Hannover Messe.

The Basque Government holds a monographic event with 30 German industrial companies, which learnt about examples of success like the Mercedes-Benz case.


Between 2014 and 2016, the SPRI Invest Unit managed to attract €227M investment with 44 projects, mainly from Germany, the U.S.A. and the United Kingdom. Trade relations between the Basque Country and Germany are tending to grow and the Basque Government looks after its institutional relationships, especially with Bavaria.


The Basque Government has taken advantage of the setting of the biggest European industrial trade fair, Hannover Messe, to present the Basque Country as an attractive destination for industrial investment.

The Basque Government Department of Economic Development and Infrastructures and the Invest in the Basque Country Unit of SPRI took a pre-designed agenda to Hannover with the aim of informing international industrial investors about the advantages of undertaking actions to boost industry in the Basque Country.

Exclusive session for some 30 German companies

A specific investment attraction session was held this midday, addressed to some thirty German industrial companies.

In collaboration with Banco Santander, the Basque Government held a session chaired by Arantxa Tapia, Minister for Economic Development and Infrastructures, who presented the Basque Country as a place where it is worth investing due, among other things, to its geographical location and its industrial culture with an ecosystem favourable to R&D&I policies.

The session was addressed to a group of pre-selected companies, specializing in different sectors such as automotive, electronics and automation, chemical materials, metallurgy and machinery, and industrial security, among others.


Mercedes-Benz: a successful case, but not the only one.

The case of Mercedes-Benz was analyzed during the session, as a German company successfully installed in Vitoria-Gasteiz for over 60 years.

In his presentation on the history of Mercedes-Benz in the Basque Country, Emilio Titos, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Spain, highlighted the VITO model van, a name that refers to the capital city of Alava where it is produced.

Titos valued the collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and the Basque Government, with emphasis on the Dual Occupational Training programmes and the participation of Mercedes-Benz in the startup accelerator, BIND 4.0.

Polmetasa (PMG), Schaeffler and Siemens were also presented as examples of German investment in the Basque Country. Ulrich Mehlmann, CEO of PMG Polmetasa, Valentín Guisasola, CEO of Schaeffler, and Thays Zapatero, Financial Manager of the Power&Gas division of Siemens Spain, referred to their presence in the Basque Country for reasons of R&D&I system quality, the availability of supplier networks and the proximity of institutions sensitive to industrial policy.

Search for investment from other countries during Hannover Messe

During the first days of the trade fair, executives of the Invest in the Basque Country Unit of SPRI are also meeting representatives of agents from India, Turkey, Germany and Japan to analyze whether the interests of both parties could be matching or complementary, always consistent with criteria of attracting investment, strengthening Basque industry and the foreseeable creation of employment in our territory.

Investment attracted by SPRI between 2014 and 2016

Since the activity of the “Invest in the Basque Country” strategy was boosted, the specialized SPRI unit has succeeded in attracting investment totalling 226.5 million euros.

44 projects have been attracted from abroad, with 921 jobs created and another 2,337 maintained.

The origins of the investments attracted in 2016 were mainly Germany, the U.S.A. and the United Kingdom.

Trade relations between the Basque Country and Germany: solid and demanding

Trade relations between the Basque Country and Germany are of special consideration as both industries are showing increasingly greater interest in each other.

Germany is the second most important export destination for Basque companies, behind France and ahead of the United States, and is the first country of origin for imports into the Basque Country. A trend of increasing imports and exports has been witnessed in recent years.

At present there are 104 Basque companies established in Germany: 62 of them are commercial, 17 productive and 25 services.

Among the production companies installed, the presence of CIE Automotive, Gestamp Automoción, DanobatGroup and Velatia/Ormazabal is worth mentioning.

Inversely, there are approximately 66 German companies established in the Basque Country, either directly or through joint-ventures with Basque firms.

Office in Munich and close relationship with Bavaria

Since July 2015 the Basque Country has had a sales office in Munich (SPRI foreign network), working intensely and increasingly with Basque companies that have interests in this market.

Tomorrow, Minister Arantxa Tapia will meet Ilse Aigner, Bavarian Minister for Economic Affairs, Media, Energy and Technology.

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