2. Industrialization in Spain
• Industrialization started with delay in Spain. In England it has
already started in the 18th century but in Spain it did not begin
earlier than 1880.
• The reasons for the delay are:
• Dominium of traditional agricultural society;
• Lack of a strong bourgeoisie;
• Problems during 18th century (Carlist wars, American colonial losses);
• Few investments;
• Lack of own money to be invested;
• Insufficient communication infrastructure.
3. Industrialization in Spain
• Although the difficulties,
in the 19th century there
were two active industrial
regions in Spain:
• Basque Country
4. Industrialization in Spain
• In the Basque Country industries were located around Nervioi
river and it was based on the iron extracted in the mines of
the region. The industrialization was possible thanks to the
restructuring of the activities, the improvement of
communications and the creation of banks.
• The other was concentrated around Barcelona and the Low
valley of Llobregat river, and followed the regional tradition of
• In other regions there were isolated attempts, as is the case
of Madrid, but it started later and with the backing of the
5. Industrialization in Spain
• This area stood until 1940-50 under state protection
and it benefited from the international demand during
WW1, mainly that of the belligerent countries. There
were crisis, such as the 1929 crack and the Spanish
• After 1939 Spain started a period of autarky: political
isolationism and need to produce enough to supply
6. Industrialization in Spain
• The second period developed after 1950, during
franconist regime when the Stabilisation Plan was
designed; in this moment Spain entered in the world
economy and two decades of industrial development
were its consequence. Society was transformed from a
rural to a urban one.
7. Industrialization in Spain
• In 1980 (Franco died in 1975), a new period began,
reducing previous rates, with exhausted sectors, and
restructuring was required. In this moment there was
an attempt to expand industry to regions previously
• Required reforms were done to adequate to the new
• Main measures:
• Regulation of workforce,
• Financial cleanness...
8. Industrialization in Spain
• Nowadays it is involved in third industrial revolution,
which base is innovation and reform.
• New technologies, known as information technologies
are based on microelectronics. It is a period of
information revolution, which has implied changed in
production, structure, localization and industrial
9. Industrialization in Spain
• New industrial sectors have been
introduced: Telematics, automatism,
• Structure tends to be decentralised.
• There have been changes in industrial
implantation and industrial policy with the
reduction of the interventionism and the
increasing concern about environmental
10. Industrial localization in Spain
• In Spain the number of factories in restructuring
process continues being important; the most
dynamic sectors have foreign capital and use
advanced technologies, even when some of them
are in a primary stage.
• The problems are the following:
• Reduce the production,
• Reduce the competitiveness,
• European policies aimed at reducing production
• And in this way devote less money to aids
11. Industrial localization in Spain
• Sectors :
• Basic iron industry and metallic
• iron industries, steel made in
furnaces (the furnaces of the
Mediterranean and Biscay
closed down and they were
privatised and united with two
European companies, reducing
• Metallic transformation
machines of any kind.
12. Industrial localization in Spain
• Production of electric appliances for houses is involved in a
process of restructuring. Some factories have been closed
• Shipbuilding in Galisia, Cantabria and Basque Country was
transformed and slowly other specialities have been
• Leather and shoemaking have two branches: materials
produced through chemical technologies and clothe. Factories
are small, distributed in wide areas and they use abundant
working force. The must compete with the production of other
13. Industrial localization in Spain
• Dynamic industrial sectors have varied
possibilities looking at the future: high
productivity and specialization,
appropriate structures, secure
demand, abundant foreign capital.
• Car industry has suffered a restructuring
process and multinationals assumed the
official aids given to the sector. It
exported but it requires technological
14. Industrial localization in Spain
• Chemistry sectors is one of the
basic in Spain but little research
is done. Petro-chemistry is
important in Puertollano and
transformation chemistry in the
• Alimentary industries are spread
and multinationals are influential
• Construction has decreased
during the last years.
15. Industrial localization in Spain
• In Spain highly technified sectors are
high technologies, micro-electronics,
telematic and they have started with
delay, due to several difficulties:
• Backwardness related to foreign countries;
• Medium and small factories are the most
important but they competitiveness is scarce;
• Work force and studies are not appropriate
for its demands.
• Their location is in metropolis or in urban
16. Industrial localization in Spain
• Looking at results, they are able to
attract multinationals in order to
introduce innovations and develop
research but many of them do not have
links with other companies in the State.
• Differences have increased because
companies using new technologies tend
to locate in the most dynamic axes.
17. Industrial localization in Spain
• Nowadays Spain’s industry presents certain structural
• The size of the factories is not appropriate, because the
majority are small or medium. Products are expensive and
they can compete, being far away from the European
• Research is scarce, investments are concentrated in
some sectors (electronics, computers) and in certain
places (Madrid, Catalonia).
• It depends on foreign technology and it is characterised
by its backwardness. They import a lot but they export
• The main consequences are the scarce productivity and the
low quality, with high prices that find difficulty to compete.
18. Industrial localization in Spain
• Traditional factors have lost their importance in the location
• Natural resources are not a requisite as before; sea transport
is cheap and some synthetic materials have been
developed. Energy is easy to transport.
• Regions around markets are not determinant and nowadays
dependency towards markets is not so important.
• Transport and communications have improved so distances
are not a problem.
• Work force is important, because they need profesionals.
• The main factor is innovation.
19. Industrial localization in Spain
• Trends to locate industries: they encourage the
creation of factories in peripheral areas but traditional
industrial regions continue being attractive.
• Industries begin developing in regions not used until
the present: too big concentrations of industries create
problems; in the periphery it is easier to reduce costs,
development of endogenous industries, use the
resources of any region.
• But central spaces continue being attractive because
they count with several services, advances
infrastructures and they need a big market. This trend
in similar in the US, Japan and other places.
20. Industrial localization in Spain
• The location of Spanish industries in different spaces leads to a
regional disequilibrium in population distribution, richness,
infrastructures, equipment and political weight. The following areas can
be distinguished: developed, regions in crisis, expanding regions, areas
of limited industrialization.
21. Industrial localization in Spain
• Developed industries, there are central spaces of metropolis,
as Madrid and Barcelona.
• Areas in expansion, normally they are around metropolis
(Low Llobregat, the left margin of Bilbo’s outlet, the South of
• Sometimes they come from the traditional industries and
they are grouped in industrial polygons.
• Other times there are innovative factories and they are
grouped in technological parks.
• The development axes are located along the main
communication nets, this is, Ebro valley and Mediterranean.
Here there are nets of motorways and a tradition of artisan
work. Due to this industries are not concentrated but they
can be easily linked.
22. Industrial localization in Spain
• Areas in recession : Asturias, Cantabria and some other
isolated areas. Until recently the Basque Autonomous
Community was included in this group but changes have
alter the situation.
• Industries are not diversified and they can not create
alternative jobs. In general there are big factories with
medium and small under their dependence so all of
them are suffering the same crisis.
• Little specialization of work market.
• Environment has been negatively affected.
• The entrance in the EU complicate the situation and
some jobs were lost.
23. Industrial localization in Spain
• Areas of inducted industrialization: Aragon,
Castile and Leon and Andalusia were
industrialised later. There are huge differences in
comparison with other areas. In Aragon Zaragoza,
in Castile-Leon Valladolid and Burgos and in
Andalusia Seville, Cadiz and Huelva.
• Areas of scarce industrialization, Castile-Mancha,
Extremadura, Balears and Canaries.
24. Industrial localization in Spain
• In relation to the environmental problems linked
• Natural resources are overexploited and some of them
• Some industries pollute the environment;
• The aesthetic value of the landscape has been
25. Industrial localization in Spain
• Nowadays industrial policy consists
of reducing the influence of the State.
• It has opened to the exterior because
at entering in the EU it is involved in
globalization. Foreign capital has
entered, from Europe. This have
affected the most dynamic sectors and
due to this decisions are taken out of
• The most competitive factories have
been privatised and their traditional
debts have disappeared.