Spain has traditionally been an agrarian economy. In fact, Spain is still the world's biggest producer of olive oil and third biggest producer of wine. Additionally, the nation is Europe's biggest producer of lemons, strawberries and oranges. Despite these favorable statistics, agriculture only contributes about 3.4% of the nation’s GDP. Spain’s economy, as a result of steady modernization, has become heavily reliant on its industry and service sectors. Spain’s industry sectors contribute about 27% of the nation’s GDP, while the service sector accounts for 70% of Spain’s total production. The Spanish industry sectors are principally concentrated in the regions of Madrid, Valladolid, Catalonia, Valencia and Asturias.
Spain Industry Sectors: Major Contributors
Industry in Spain has developed in diverse sectors, including textile, food-processing, machinery, and iron and steel. However, the key contributors to Spain’s economy are:
In 2009, Spain’s automotive industry contributed about 3.5% of the nation’s GDP, employing 9% of the total labor force. Spain is among the top ten car manufacturing countries in the world. However, the industry’s production saw a significant downward spiral in 2008 and 2009, particularly as a result of unfavorable government policies. As a result, the ownership of several Spanish car brands has been passed to foreign companies. Currently, the major domestic player in Spain’s automotive industry is SEAT, a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group.
Spain has the second largest tourism industry in the world, which is also the nation’s main source of income, contributing nearly 11% to Spain’s GDP and employing about 2 million of the total labor force. Additionally, Spain’s tourism industry is instrumental in stimulating Spanish exports. According to Eurostat, Spain dominated Europe’s tourism industry between 2000 and 2006, earning approximately 25% of the total revenues. Spain’s tourism industry, however, began to plateau in 2008 as a result of several factors, including the global economic meltdown and access to cheaper destinations in Europe.
Spain Industry Sectors: Emerging Players
Fertilizers and chemicals are the most prominent industry sectors in Spain, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.1% for 2004-2008. The industry generated total revenues of $4.3 billion in 2008. In addition, the Spanish specialty chemicals market had total earnings of $24.2 billion in 2008.
Finally, increasing investment in research and development has resulted in the development of the biotechnology industry in Spain. The industry grew at an astounding rate of 350% between 1998 and 2003. Currently, Spain’s biotechnology industry employs over 150,000 workers.