Doing business in Catalonia
If you think about Catalonia and Barcelona, you may not immediately think about the business opportunities there. Most people think about the sunny climate, football, art, and creativity. But Catalonia is, in fact, one of the most important economic destinations in Spain. Only the Basque Country approaches its productivity figures. A great many companies from abroad have selected Catalonia as a region in Spain in which they invest and they conduct business there on a daily basis.
Catalonia is the import and export hub for Spain. One in five companies in the region export abroad, with EU countries as the main destinations. Principally, it is the products of technological companies which are being exported. Almost a quarter of foreign companies which have invested in Spain have chosen to do so in Catalonia, from where they then offer their wares to the rest of Spain. The infrastructure in Catalonia provides a sound base for foreign investors. The international harbours, airports, and an extensive network of modern railways and motorways make the entire region accessible for the whole world. It’s not for nothing that many international congresses and trade fairs are organised in Barcelona.
Doing business with Catalans is not very difficult, but there are a few things a businessman or woman should bear in mind if they want to be successful. Our experts provide you with the most important tips and tricks for doing business successfully in Catalonia.
Tip 1: Check opening times
In Catalonia, most companies open very early and they close for a few hours in the afternoon. Many government bodies and banks also close at 2.00pm but they don’t open again for the rest of the day. This can be even earlier in the summer months. So, in order to avoid disappointment, it’s a good idea to check on the opening times for those companies with which you want to do business.
Tip 2: Dress formally
Spanish people wear business suits and Catalans are no different. During meetings, men and women will be wearing formal attire and you would do well to do the same, even in the summer months.
Tip 3: Take your time
When you’re introduced to a Catalan, just shaking hands isn’t enough. Take the time to make small talk and to ask about the other person’s family, children, and social activities. Catalonian people attach a great deal of importance to social contact, and an honest interest and openness will be rewarded.
Tip 4: Hierarchy
Most companies in Catalonia are hierarchical and it’s the boss who takes the decisions. And because you won’t always get to speak to him or her, it can mean long and complicated negotiations or exchanges of documents, particularly with government bodies. A network of business people who know the right people is crucial.
Tip 5: A good translation agency
The main language of communication in Catalonia is Spanish, but Catalan is also used a lot. Speaking Spanish isn’t difficult for a lot of people but reading and writing is a different story. A good translation agency is essential, particularly if it’s business documents such as quotations, proposals, terms and conditions, and contracts.
Translating documents into and out of Catalan
Our agency will translate your documents correctly and professionally into Catalan and/or Spanish. As well as general business documents, our expert translators can also help you with industry-specific translations such as medical records, technical specifications and legal correspondence, and even sworn translations. Even private individuals can make use of our services. If you’re considering buying a house in Catalonia, get your contracts professionally and quickly translated into English. Ask for a quotation for translations into, or out of Catalan, and/or Spanish, by using the quotation form or by sending us your document via email. You can also get in touch with our project managers by telephone. They are looking forward to hearing from you.
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