Region/Countries: Europe, Spain Industry: Energy, Power and Control, Manufacturing Date: January 2018

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: A recovering Spanish economy is creating demand for machinery for sectors including plastics, food processing, textiles, leather, metalworking, agriculture, automotive, wind power, and home building.

After economic difficulties from 2009 through 2013, the Spanish economy has logged consistent GDP growth since 2015, with 3.2 percent growth in 2016 and 3.1 percent in 2017. Projected GDP growth for 2018 is 2.5 percent—less than the preceding years but still solid, and above the EU average for GDP growth of 1.9 percent in 2016. The main drivers of growth are increasing consumption, the construction industry, tourism and exports.

Due to growing export demand, increasing capacity and an improving investment situation because of reduced debt, Spanish businesses have begun investing in machinery again since 2015. Experts predict that equipment investments will increase by 4.2 percent in 2018. Especially in demand are plastic and rubber machines, food machines, textile and leather machines, agricultural machinery and machinery for metalworking.

As the EU’s second-leading automotive production country, Spain invests heavily in production plants and the digitization of the production process. For instance, the SEAT components facility in Barcelona provides capital to produce the new six-gear manual transmission MQ281 in 2019. Investments by companies like Volkswagen, PSA and Renault amount to more than €5 billion in new production plants between 2016 and 2020. Additional projects requiring machinery are taking place in the wind power sector, as well as home building and renovation.

In 2016 Spain imported €16 billion of machinery, logging a 6.4 percent growth in comparison to the previous year, and recorded its second-highest import amounts ever. Wisconsin exported machinery worth $7.7 million to Spain in 2016 and $6.1 million through November 2017. The main types of machines were agricultural machinery (38.1%), engines/turbines (15.6%) and general purpose machinery (12%). The main suppliers are Germany, with a share of 21.3 percent, followed by France, with 15.1 percent in 2016.

Attending a trade show can provide excellent opportunities to get to know the market and meet potential partners. Options include Fima Agricola for agricultural machinery, taking place Feb. 20-24, 2018, in Zaragoza; FoodTech for food processing machinery, held in Barcelona from May 8-11, 2018; and MetalMadrid, held Sept. 26-27, 2018, in Madrid.

Further information on the market can be found at Spain Business.