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Several studies show that direct foreign investment (FDI) is positive both for companies as well as for the economic development of the host country and home country. Once companies begin an internationalisation process, entering a country usually tends to be a progressive process of global expansion, in which the experience gained facilitates its expansion into other countries. In addition, the fact that a company invests abroad does not mean it stops investing in its home country. However, FDI brings with it associated increases in domestic investment, because the internationalisation of the company and its direct investment are complementary and not mutually exclusive, producing a feedback that in the future will again have a more positive impact on expansion and growth.

In this way, Spanish companies that set up foreign deployment affiliates strengthen their home market. Therefore, in 2015 companies backed by COFIDES maintained their production in Spain and a large majority increased their number of employees in the Spanish economy.

Moreover, overseas investments contribute to enhancing the specialisation of the Spanish economy and the modernisation of its production structure, as well as increasing its competitiveness. Likewise, they act as a catalyst towards creating new markets for Spanish exports, as well as enhancing the image of our country abroad.

In relation to Spanish SMEs, COFIDES contributes particularly to their growth. In 2015 the SME portfolio increased by around 80% compared with 2012, which was the beginning of the special plan to support SMEs. SMEs are the backbone of the Spanish business structure (making up for more than 95% of the total number of companies – Ministry of Employment and Social Security “Spanish Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy 2014-2020”) and provide most of the employment (66%) – Sub-Directorate General to Support SME “2016 Snapshot of SMEs”. 

The following table shows activity data related to Spanish companies that receive financing from COFIDES for their investments abroad:

Financed companies1



Maintained productive activity in Spain



Created or maintained employment levels in Spain (Total)



Created or maintained employment levels in Spain (SME´s)



1 Data obtained from a representative sample

For more detailed information, please see the Annual Sustainability Report.



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Last update...2018-12-11