Monday, 15 May 2017

Alibaba may install its Southern Europe hub in Catalonia


Barcelona (ACN).- Catalonia may host the logistics hub for Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba for Southern Europe. According to Catalan Minister for Business Knowledge, Jordi Biaget, “no decision has been made yet” but the negotiations are already in the final stages. Although Alibaba is also considering France for the installation of its logistics center, the Catalan Government is working closely with the company so that Catalonia could be the chosen destination. Indeed, last February Baiget met with Alibaba’s board during a commercial mission to China and Hong Kong organized by the Catalan Government. Baiget also explained that the Catalan executive is analyzing more than 300 possible business investments in Catalonia.

While visiting the new Griffith Foods’ plant in Valls, about 100 kilometers south of Barcelona, Baiget explained that the Catalan Government is working hard so that companies such as Alibaba “could chose Catalonia as the destination for their investments”.  The Catalan Minister for Business Knowledge also explained that the Catalan executive is currently analyzing 308 projects which are considering to invest in Catalonia and Aliababa is amongst them. “The first thing we have to do is convince them to come here and then work hard so that they decide to invest in Catalonia”, he added.

Sources close to the negotiations have told the CNA that Alibaba’s project would imply building more than a logistics plant but the location of the centers won’t be made public until an agreement will be reached.

Catalonia, key for Amazon’s European strategy

Catalonia plays a central role in leading e-commerce company Amazon's strategy in Europe. The North American giant has announced the creation of a new logistics center in Martorelles, 20 kilometers north of Barcelona, which will become operational in the fall. The 30,000 m2 center is expected to serve the European market and will be located in Martorelles’ Can Roca business park. The new center will initially employ 200 people but is expected to create 650 jobs over the next three years.

This plant will complement Amazon’s operations in Greater Barcelona. Its first express delivery center in Europe is already based in the Catalan capital, while another logistics center operates out of Castellbisbal, about 30 kilometers northwest of the city. However, Amazon’s biggest investment in Catalonia is still to be completed. The company plans to open its largest logistics center in the south of Europe on a 15-hectare holding close to Barcelona's El Prat airport in the fall.

  • Amazon

  • Amazons' logistics centre at Castellbisbal, 30 kilometres from Barcelona (by ACN)