Catalonia is located in the North-East of the Iberian Peninsula, by the Western coast of the Mediterranean Sea. This gave Catalonia a particular strategic position as the entry to Europe by air, land or sea and enabled the Region to keep developing, especially its harbors as Barcelona is now one of the biggest harbors of the Mediterranean.
Carles Puigdemont was elected President of Catalonia on January 10th, 2016. The territory gathers about 7 508100 inhabitants, representing 16% of the population of Spain. There are 3 official languages in Catalonia: Catalan, Castilian and Occitan (only in the Val d’Aran).
Its very diverse territory spreads on 32 108 km² going from the Sea, to the central plains and reaching the mountains. The 580 km of coastline and transport infrastructures also enable the Region to develop a strong economic activity.
This combination of factors enabled Catalonia to enjoy a strong growth and to give the Region its place as the economic engine of the Spain. The GDP of the Region gathers 214 93 billion euros and the external sector of Catalonia represents about 25% of the GDP of the country. Information and communications technology, and research and innovation are today the sectors of priority for Catalonia. Industry is also an important sector and represents almost 20% of its economy (23% of the Spanish industry). Design, conferences and international congress, and businesses are rising sectors. Chemistry, agri-food, energy and culture are also integral parts of the Catalan economy. Tourism is an essential economic sector as well, as more than 30 millions of tourists visit Catalonia every year.
Very open towards international relations, Catalonia has numerous regional, economic and cultural delegations all over the words and bilateral agreements with countries from every continent. Catalonia was also a pioneer in the promotion of regional and urban European networks.
Today, Catalonia strives for innovation and new technologies to improve the quality of life of its citizens and to increase economic growth in areas such as the management of urban services, energy efficiency or education.