Malaga enjoys a series of natural advantages due to its geographic location, climate (an average of 307 sunny days a year), infrastructures, communications and access links, among which the airport (because of the high number of passengers and flights it handles), port and high-speed railway station stand out.
Access to the sea, the Mediterranean in the case of Malaga. Any investor should value this factor very positively, regardless of whether or not access to the sea is required. This indicator reflects a higher degree of openness to international trade than in other areas.
In 2017 Malaga’s GDP growth rate was of 3.3% (two tenths above the regional rate). This figure is expected to be maintained in 2018,with a forecast close to 3.1%. This could place the province once again in a leading position within Andalusia.
Malaga continues to lead the creation of companies and even the registration of self-employed workers. In 2017, 5,111 companies were established in the province. This figure suggests a ratio that indicates that out of every three companies constituted in Andalusia, one is born in Malaga. It also suggests the creation of 14 companies per day. Malaga is the fourth province that generates more companies, after Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.
Malaga also continues to be, by far, the province that contributes most to the Andalusian tax figures, and the second Andalusian city that contributed the most to the national figures, increasing the amount by 8.9% over the preceding year.
The province has one of the most modern airports in Europe, which stands out for the large number of connections there are with the main European capitals. The port of the capital also underwent an important process of modernization, which transformed its image and operational capacity dramatically. In the recent years this has favoured the expansion of the cruise sector. The railway sector, on the other hand, has experienced a great development marked by innovation, with the continuous expansion of routes and the arrival of the AVE (high-speed train). As for road infrastructures, the province has a powerful network of roads that facilitate access and mobility from the interior and to the main Spanish cities.
Population from a labour market standpoint. Malaga has a medium-high cultural and academic attainment level which favours access to a qualified labour force. The existence of an Andalusian university system and the role played by the University of Malaga itself make it an attractive destination for investors.
Furthermore, the degree of openness of Malaga’s economy should be mentioned. Although lower than what might be desirable, the internationalisation indices of Malaga-based companies reveal a concern for opening up markets and the economy to make it more competitive.
The Malaga Local Authority has put into place initiatives aimed at opening Malaga up to the outside world. Malaga Open for Business or the Club Malaga Valley initiative reflect this ongoing effort to position Malaga at the level of investors. These positive measures also reflect the local authority’s capacity and effectiveness, thereby increasing trust among investors.
The capital city of Malaga has 8,000,000square metres of industrial land spread out over the city’s 16 industrial estates according to the Province of Malaga Association of Industrial and Commercial Estates and Parks (APOMA). It is worth mentioning other especially attractive spaces for investors, like the Andalusia Technology Park (Parque Tecnológico de Andalucía). It is being enlarged with sites that can be boosted thanks to the Urban Space Initiative, which is accompanying the revitalisation of different areas with outright grants available as incentives to different companies setting up in Malaga.
The revitalisation plans for other areas, particularly the historic city centre, are favouring differentiated investment zones with direct support by the local authority. The recently presented SOHO area can be highlighted in this regard.
The network of company incubators available placed at the service of entrepreneurs throughout the city which also serve to promote the entrepreneurial spirit should likewise be singled out.
Tourism, as Malaga’s main source of revenue, has made it possible to open up the mentality of Malaga society, increase its receptiveness to external and foreign markets and enhance its flexibility when dealing with “new arrivals”, who are welcomed from both an individual as well as a business perspective.
Technological and knowledge-based environment. One of the attractions that is gaining importance in the province has to do with generation of technology and knowledge. As a matter of fact, it is one of the selling points of Malaga Open for Business, whose main supports include the university, the Malaga Technology Park – a cluster of companies – and the Malaga Valley initiative.
As regards the economic players active in Malaga, positive cohesion can be observed among the various instruments used to promote business growth. These include business organisations, among which the CEM should be highlighted due to the members it represents and its ability to bring together industry and local associations, as well as government agencies and privately owned entities whose activities boost investment, such as: Promálaga, the IDEA Agency, technology centres like the CITIC, Habitec, the Andalusia Technology Park, etc.
Additional attractions to economic investment include the province’s cultural agenda, which has a positive effect on the city’s image and on other points in the province of Malaga. It is well worth pointing out the Spanish Film Festival and the investments made in the Picasso Museum and the Carmen Thyssen Museum among the most recent.
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