Since the mid-19th century, foreigners have been doing business in Malaga. In the latter half of that century, the city was an industrial power to be reckoned with, thanks in part of entrepreneurs from Europe and other parts of the world. Well over 150 years later, the city continues to feature on the international business radar for a number of reasons, all of which make compelling reasons to do business in Malaga.
Malaga Airport is the fourth busiest in Spain and connects southern Spain to over 100 European cities. In addition, direct flights operate to several destinations further afield – New York, Qatar, Moscow and Marrakesh, for example. This means that numerous markets for business opportunities are just a plane ride away.
Back on land, Malaga also has excellent transport connections. The city forms part of the AVE high-speed train network in Spain with frequent services to Madrid (just over 2.5 hours), Barcelona (around 5 hours), Seville, Cordoba and Granada. Dual carriageways connect the city in all directions.
Keep your finger on the Malaga buzzer – sign up for our free fortnightly newsletter. All you need to know about what’s on and what’s new in the city in your inbox every other Friday.
Plenty of opportunities
The city’s entrepreneurial spirit is obvious in the wide range of business opportunities available to those who decide to do business in Malaga. The main sectors are:
- Tourism – an emerging industry in the city, something of a ‘new’ destination compared to the veteran resorts on the neighbouring Costa del Sol.
- Technology & Innovation – with the Andalusian Technological Park (PTA in Spanish) at the helm, Malaga has become a hub for technology. The creation of the Spanish Digital Content Hub (Polo de Contenidos Digitales) in 2017 has also opened up new opportunities in video technology.
- Construction – Malaga has a shortage of housing and office space and presents many business openings in the property sector.
The city has infrastructure for fibre optic internet and in June 2018 was 1 of the 15 Spanish cities where Vodafone introduced their 5G network. You can choose to do business in Malaga and rest assured that connectivity won’t be a problem.
The popularity of the Costa del Sol among foreign residents and tourists plus the large Spanish population open up business opportunities in two markets. Both are very different but complement each other at the same time allowing for the creation of niche business interests.
They say port cities are always a melting pot of cultures and Malaga is certainly no exception. The business culture has a young mindset and you’ll find English widely spoken in most sectors.
Unlike many other Andalusian cities, Malaga looks outward and welcomes the newcomer. It has a history of European entrepreneurs settling in the city (many streets in the centre are named after them and foreign surnames are common among locals as a result). This active welcome to outside investment facilitates anyone wishing to do business in Malaga.
On the map
Malaga is something of a business reference in southern Spain. Much of this is due to the PTA, a benchmark for technology and innovation within the country as a whole. But Malaga also strives to make a name for itself in all sectors by hosting international conferences, for example. The city is European Capital of Smart Tourism 2020 as well as European Capital of Sport.
To make a success of any business in Malaga you need a qualified and talented workforce. The city offers both local expertise – Malaga University has several excellent faculties – and foreign talent in the large number of expat residents in the area.
If you’ve already spent some time in Malaga, this may well be your main reason for wanting to establish a business in the city. Take the weather for a start – 320 (guaranteed) days of sunshine a year bring joy even to the dullest business tasks!
Locals embrace the philosophy of “working to live” rather than vice versa. And then there’s the city’s relaxed ambience, its stunning architecture and mostly wallet-friendly cost of living. In addition, you have the Mediterranean and Andalusia on the doorstep.
Our last reason to do business in Malaga is really for those thinking of relocating to the city with their families. You’ll find a lifestyle where children can be seen and heard. Plus there are plenty of activities for all the family. Malaga has a good choice of international schools if you wish your children to continue their education in English (or French). And all of you will find a well-established community of expats from just about every country.
Have we convinced you? Then your next step is to decide what kind of business you’re going to set up in Malaga.