Overview of Spain


Spain is a highly developed country with an energetic economy that has become the star performer in the European Union. Its economy has outpaced the average performance for the last 10 years and is the 5th largest in Europe and the 8th largest among OECD countries.

Spain’s potential as a business partner is reflected by its GDP, which reached US$1434.3 billion in 2007, rank at the 9th place among all the countries, with an increasing annual growth of about 3.3%. (Source: Spain Data Profile of The World Bank Organization)

Service sector accounts for about 60% of the GDP in 2007. Retailing, tourism, banking and telecommunications have all made a crucial contribution to economic activities. The tourist industry is especially important and Spain was the second most popular destination in the world with more than 58 million visitors (Source: National Statistics Institute of Spain). Other booming industries are professional services including trade related services and transportation. In the agricultural sector, Spain is a particularly important producer of wine, olive oil, fruit and vegetables.

Spain’s most prominent manufacturing industry is vehicle production, which accounts for about 5% of GDP and exports more than 80% of its output. Spain is the world’s 5th largest automobile producer produced in 2006.

During year 2008 , Spain emerged as the fifth largest source of foreign direct investment in Malaysia, mainly due to a single investment of RM6.1 billion by Acerinox to build a stainless-steel manufacturing plant in Tanjung Langsar, Johor. Currently, some 30 Spanish companies have established their bases in Malaysia, including those setting up regional and representative offices here.

In terms of trade, in 2008, bilateral trade between Malaysia and Spain reached RM6.15 billion, a 50% increase over 2007, with the trade in Malaysia’s favour. The main Malaysian exports to Spain were electronic and electrical products, palm oil, rubber and furniture, valued at RM3.75 billion. Meanwhile, Malaysian and Spanish companies are also jointly looking into gaining a foothold in the Middle East and Latin American markets.

46,157,822 (2008)

Official Language: Spanish
Regional Languges: Catalan, Basque, Galician, Valencian

Standard Time
One hour ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) from the end of October to the end of March.
Two hours ahead of GMT the rest of the year.
Canary Islands’ time is one hour behind all year round.

Spain is divided into four broad types of climatic regions:
Cool winters, mild summers and abundant rainfall throughout the year in Atlantic areas;
Mild winters, dry and hot summers, and little rainfall in the Mediterranean.



Official name: Kingdom of Spain

Area: 505,991 km²

Geographical situation: Southern Europe, in the Iberian Peninsula. In addition to the mainland, Spain includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, the cities of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.
Principal natural resources: Copper, zinc, lead, potashes, gypsum, sepiolite (meerschaum), sodium sulfate, ornamental stones, arable land.

Population: 46,524,943 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2016)

Density: 91.8 inhabitants/ km²
Population groups: 9.9% of the population is foreign. The most numerous nationalities in this group are Moroccans with 1.62% and Romanians with 1.54%.

City populations:
Capital: Madrid (3,141,991)
Main cities: Barcelona (1,604,555), Valencia (786,189), Seville (693,878), Saragossa (664,953), Malaga (569,130)

Religions: Catholic – 70.9%; other religion – 2.4%

Languages: Castilian Spanish is the official language throughout Spain. Catalan, Valencian, Galician and Basque also have official status in their respective autonomous communities.
Entry requirements: Citizens of other European Union States, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein: valid National Identity Document or passport. Citizens of the rest of the world also require a visa. For more information: www.exteriores.gob.es.

Administrative Division: 17 autonomous communities, 50 provinces and 2 autonomous cities, Ceuta and Melilla.