1:27 PM, March 1, 2024

In the middle of everywhere

Foreign Direct Investment
| The European |

Officially part of Spain, yet with a prime geographic position in the mid-Atlantic, less than 100 kilometres from West Africa, the Canary Islands offers an unbeatable commercial platform.

With an eye on the demands of economic growth in West Africa, the Canaries have developed a strategy geared towards its position as a logistics gateway just one step away from Africa, while also offering unrivalled links between Europe and the Americas.

The islands benefit from unbeatable fiscal advantages. Fully approved by the EU, it has the most competitive tax system in Europe, boasting a 4% corporate tax rate, rather than the general 25% rate in the rest of Spain. Other appealing incentives include a tax-free dividend distribution to shareholders, up to 55% of cash back in relevant sectors and an incredible VAT rate of only 6.5%.

The Canary Islands provides a base to a diverse range of companies – all benefit from a world-class business ecosystem, and recognise the islands as a vital link in their global supply chain. Companies and individuals also enjoy a host of other advantages, including the sunniest climate on the planet. With an average temperature of 22°C and 4,800 sunlight hours per year, plus 159 miles of wonderful beaches, the “European California” is a great place to live and work. So much more than a tourist destination, the Canary Islands is renowned for its unique ability to attract and retain talent, and it is no coincidence that the Canary Islands is ranked as one of the best destinations for digital nomads in the world.

With superb air and sea connections, the Canary Islands provides quick and easy access to global markets. There are more than 1,800 direct flights to Europe per week and 48 to Africa making them an excellent gateway to these key continents. Add international port connections into the mix and you have a transport and logistics hub that is second to none. Undersea fibre optic cabling and a robust satellite system feed a state-of-the-art ICT infrastructure. Take ATOS for example: the tech services leader set up in the Canary Islands in 2007, from where it delivers its expertise to 120 multinationals from 40 countries, including the London Underground.

Life’s a beach

The Canary Islands are the perfect place to live, work and start or promote a business. The range of sectors present is growing all of the time, so the professional services you require to succeed are always at hand. Innovation has become a by-word for the Canary Islands commercial scene, with a particular focus on tech, audio-visual and digital marketing, as well as oil & gas, and maritime services.

The quality of life offered by the Canary Islands is hard to match. The climate is ranked as the best in the world; the political-economic environment is secure and supports a robust and competitive business ecosystem. The labour market is characterised by a low turnover rate and high productivity – the result of a multicultural and cosmopolitan population that would not want to be anywhere else in the world. In short, it is the ideal place to live and do business. Companies located in the Canary Islands have all the facilities and infrastructure they need, while employees and their families enjoy a wonderful quality of life.

Its proximity to West Africa make its ports the ideal strategic hub for marine and maritime offshore services. International shipping companies, such as Kongsberg, Otech and Stier Group already have a base there, attracted by the unique logistical advantage on offer – just one of the many reasons why the Canary Islands are considered a leading FDI destination. The Canaries’ commercial framework is tailored to tech innovation too. Technology companies enjoy the highest refundable incentives for R&D on the planet, which translates to an annual 45% cost reduction.   

The Canary Islands also offers unique opportunities to the world of scientific research. The ecosystem is practically a natural research laboratory, perfect for exploring projects in wind, photovoltaic solar and wave/tidal energy. The islands have some of the most powerful telescopes in the world, and international scientists are currently carrying out pioneering projects in oceanic research.

Lights, camera, action!

Last but not least, the Canary Islands are a paradise for filmmakers. In fact, more than 350 productions were shot in the Canary Islands in 2018 alone, with Marvel films and Netflix among the big names. The film industry thrives in the Canaries, thanks to the remarkable diversity of landscapes and the network of leading professionals who have made the island their home.

With the lowest corporate tax rate in Europe, the best tax incentives for entrepreneurial activities and a rich talent pool, the Canary Islands are a highly desirable investment destination for any type
of business.

Further information


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