The Basque Country is an area with a long tradition of industry dating back to the late 18th century. One of its main features is the density of its industry. With a total population of 2.4 million, there are 187,000 people employed in industry, i.e. 21% of all the jobs in the territory. As a result, industry accounts for 23.5% of GDP. The area’s productivity is in the top three in Europe, with costs well below those of Germany, France and Italy.
Its strength comes from specialisation in automotive, machine-tools, aerospace, energy, IT and other areas, with 2.2% of invoicing being ploughed into R&D. Moreover, 32% of university students in the area take technical courses, and it ranks second among Europe’s regions in terms of numbers of graduates, behind London. There is also a strong offering of vocational training, with 170 courses and over 34,000 students.
“That is why 400 foreign-based multinationals have production plants in the Basque Country.” “In short […] this is an industrial region with a strong economic position due to its ability to transform itself and innovate.”