Catalan economy

Primary sector in Catalonia

 In Catalonia, 2.5 % of population works in the primary sector. From this 2,5%, only 1% works in fishing activities.

The main characteristics of Catalan agriculture are small exploitations and a high level of mechanization with a great diversity of crops.

Agricultural soil is found in central depression (Lleida), Delta de l’Ebre and litoral plains.

There are agroindustrial complexes are transformed:

The most important are:

-Pork, chicken and different types of sausages.

-Wine and cava

-Cork (suro) production.

The necessity of manpower for the secondary and tertiary activities generates the migration from town to cities.

Small towns have less population and rural population has an old age.

The UE policy wants:

-To maintain enough farmers

-To stop the migration to the cities

-To reinforce the less developed areas.

-To control fishing

Agrarian landscapes in Catalonia.

In Catalonia, we can distinguish three agrarian landscapes: Mediterranean, interior and mountain.

Mediterranean landscape goes along the coast. Here we can find four different zones:

-In the north; we find , cereals, fruit trees and grape. There is also bovine, ovine and porcine production.

-Maresme and Baix Llobregat. fruit trees, vegetables and flowers.

-Garraf to Baix Ebre. Grapes, nuts, almonds and cereals, that is, dry crops.  -Delta de l’Ebre. rice and vegetables.

Interior landscape is diverse and is defined by the Ebre and Segre river.

-We find rice, corn, forages, vegetables and fruit trees.

-We also find intensive farming of pigs and poultry

-In dry zones, we find grapes, olives and cereals.

Mountain landscape: The most important activity is farming to obtain meat and milk derivats.  -We find also forest exploitation to obtain wood

Energetic resources and industrialization

In Catalonia, natural resources are scarce

We find a little coal production in the Pyrenees, electrical energy near to rivers, gas and petrol next to the Tarragona coast and nuclear energy from Ascó and Vandellós II nuclear power stations.

Industrial activities started at the end of the 18th century in Barcelona with textile and steel industry.

From 1960, with the textile crisis, chemical and steel industry started to develop. Later, food, telecommunication and computing industries became also important.

Catalan industries export their products around the world but also international industries have been established in our country.

From 1988, with the selection of Barcelona as an Olympic City, the construction of buildings increased incredibly. 7.4. Services: commerce in Catalonia

 In Catalonia, the service sector is the most important because 63,1% of the population works in these activities.

The most important activities are commerce and transport, although tourism has experienced the biggest increase in the last years.

In Catalonia, retailer commerce is the most important but in the last two decades big commercial centres have been opened. Commercial centres are causing the closing of retailer commerce around the territory.

The exchange of industrial products is the most important activity of our exterior commerce:

Catalonia exports cars, chemical products, machinery, food and beverages.

Catalonia imports cars, chemical products, food and technology.

Commercial relationships are mainly with the European Union, Morroco, United States and China.

Our commercial balance is negative.

Services: transport and communications in Catalonia

The road network in Catalonia is designed from Barcelona to the rest of Catalonia.

From 1990, there are two roads:

  -L’Eix Transversal: joins Lleida and Girona through Manresa and Vic

  -L’Eix de l’Ebre: joins Lleida to Tortosa

The train network is important in Barcelona and surroundings

AVE joins Madrid with Barcelona and in the near future it will arrive to Paris. Catalonia is the first Autonomous Community with the four provinces connected by AVE

Euromed joins Alacant with Barcelona and Paris.

Barcelona and Tarragona are the most important ports. The rest of Catalonia are sportive or for fishermen use.

We have airports in Barcelona, Reus, Girona and Lleida. In Sabadell, there is an important pilot’s academy.

Tourism in Catalonia

Catalonia is specialised in coast holidays.

Other options are becoming important in the last years:

-Barcelona for its architectural and cultural richness.

-International congresses are also an important focus of tourism.

-Barcelona is also an important stop for maritime cruises.

-Rural tourism in interior parts of the territory:

This type of tourism is important thanks to the big number of natural protected areas.

Winter sports:

-People can practise holidays not only in summer and not only in the coast and this is important for the tourist sector of Catalonia.

-The number of hotel rooms in Catalonia is one of the most important in Spain.

-The biggest number of hotel rooms is in the coast.

-The number of tourists is over 30 million, most of them from the rest of Spain, France and United Kingdom.

Catalonia inside of the European Union

Catalonia is one of the most developed regions in the European Union and it has also its own personality.

The main positive aspects of our territory are:

-Good communications with the rest of Spain and Europe.

-Its integration in a developed territory together with the south-east of France and the north-west of Italy.

-Its large industrial tradition and a consolidated tertiary sector.

-A good level of infrastructures and social equipment

-Catalan universities are following the European university model

This good position in the European context has some limitations:

-Internal differences: the metropolitan area of Barcelona and the coast are very dynamic. The interior areas have less services and equipment.

-Microelectronics and telecommunications are not an important industry in Catalonia

-Pollution of some rivers near the area of Barcelona. The limitation of water reserves in some dry areas of Catalonia.