Doing Business in Spain: What are the Latest Market Trends?

Spain was one of Europe’s most badly affected countries by the global financial crisis but remains in the world’s top 20 nations based on the size of its GDP, importing and exporting dealings.  

Despite the continuing high levels of unemployment that remain in Spain, the country is now experiencing positive growth that looks set to continue according to a 2015 IMF report. This is due to strong governmental policy implementation and external factors that have seen growth reach 3.1% in 2015, one of the highest levels in the Eurozone.


Even during its struggles and reduced labour force, the country has had a busy industry, particularly in certain sectors, and remains one of the UK’s largest trading partners. If you’re considering importing from or exporting to Spain, then learn more about its popular industries below.

Major Spanish Industries


In the late 1990s, the biotechnology industry of Spain grew at an astonishing rate and it remains one of the world’s leading nations in the sector. More than €76 billion worth of products are sold each year with over 3,000 companies involved in research and development as the industry continues to create many new jobs.


Food and Drink

Like many European countries, Spain used to have a largely agricultural based economy. It is still the world’s largest producer of olive oil and in the top five countries for wine production; with regions such as Rioja, Málaga and the upper Ebro valley some of the most famous and prolific. The most lemons, oranges and strawberries in Europe are grown, picked and exported from Spain too.



Spain has plenty of rich mineral resources, most notably in the Cantabrian region where iron, coal and zinc are mined and put to good use. Río Tinto in Andalusia is home to lots of copper while lead, silver and tin can be found across the country as iron, steel and its products make up over 5% of the nation’s exports.


Pharmaceuticals are Spain’s fifth highest export, although the country’s own market is set to contract up until 2020 at least, due to austerity measures. Drug pricing policies are limiting growth even though the medical devices sector is benefitting from the technical industry’s focus on healthcare, but the export demand stays strong.


Textiles and Clothing

Spain is the fourth largest producer of textiles in the world. A few of its major companies have struggled due to the country’s reduced consumer spending and high unemployment levels, but some others have adapted and thrived. Zara, Massimo Dutti and Pull and Bear are all part of the Inditex textile company which has branched out into new markets through exportation to help them succeed.


With the second largest tourism industry in the world, which contributes to around 11% of its GDP, Spain is extremely reliant on tourism as a source of income. The emergence of cheaper destinations has had an impact but still close to two million of the nation’s labour force are employed in the industry as Brits, Germans, French and many others visit sunny Spain each year.



The automotive industry is another large Spanish employer and vehicles make up the highest amount of the country’s exports. In 2014, Spain was Europe’s second largest car manufacturer, although many of its main brands have been taken over by foreign companies. SEAT is the only active Spanish brand which has control over introducing new models and designs, even though it does operate as a subsidiary of the German Volkswagen group.

The Future of Spanish Business

After being one of the worst affected nations in Europe by the global financial crisis, the future is starting to look a little bit brighter for the Spanish economy and business. There have been signs of economic growth throughout 2015 while the automotive and tourism industries have stayed strong compared to many other sectors.


With a recovering economy comes more spending, which presents greater opportunities for exporting within popular industries or those with a gap in the market. At TNT we have excellent shipping services to Spain to ensure your exports reach their destination on time and intact if you’re considering doing business in Spain.