The agri-food sector, together with tourism, is one of the main pillars of the Cordoba economy. There are almost a thousand food companies in the province, some of them among the most important companies in Andalusia. Agri-food businesses account for just over 10.5% of the province’s GDP and 10.0% of employment.
Córdoba is a leader in the agri-food sector, offering key competitive advantages for businesses wanting to set up shop there:
- Access to first-class land and raw materials. With practically 20% of the useful agricultural area of Andalusia, Córdoba has 7 designations of origin (four for olive oil, one for wine, one for vinegar and one for Iberian ham).
- Highly qualified human capital thanks to the quality and long tradition of its university centres, of national and international prestige.
- The ability to connect the sector with the R&D carried out by university research groups, the Science and Technology Park and leading specialized centres, like the Sustainable Agriculture Institute -IAS-, the Agricultural and Fisheries Research and Training Institute -IFAPA-, and the Campus of International Agri-food Excellence -ceiA3-.
- The level of development of the local business fabric, thanks to its creativity in bringing new products and varieties to the market, and its excellent management skills.
- The modern logistics networks offered by Córdoba, which guarantee sectorial mobility.
- The great institutional support given to the sector, with has the possibility of benefiting from public funding and the maximum aid intensity of authorized by the European Union.
Jewelry has been present in Córdoba since the Middle Ages. Today Cordoba continues to be a leading jewelry center and one of the main jewelry production centres in Spain.
Known for its silverware, goldsmithing and filigree work, Cordoba’s jewelry industry specializes in lightweight items, screws and luxury pieces, offering both manufacturing capacity and access to related industries.
Since 2008 Córdoba has had the Parque Joyero complex, which currently has 240 companies that employ 1,200 workers. It is the highest concentration of companies in this sector in Europe, thus generating an important infrastructure that other sectors can take advantage of. In this complex there are companies dedicated to the manufacture and sale of jewelry, goldsmiths, costume jewelry and watches.
The Jewelry School, part of the Parque Joyero, national center of reference, offers professional qualifications in one of the sectors with the highest demand for employment in the Andalusian economy. This centre stands out for its innovative methodologies and for the preservation of the traditional Andalusian knowledge in the art of jewelry.
The Cordoba Fairs and Conventions Pavilion, together with the Jewelry School, the General Services Building and the commercial premises of the Parque Joyero complex, provide an excellent environment for the establishment of new companies
Thanks to its enviable cultural heritage, tourism is another of the key economic activities in Córdoba. Córdoba is the only city in the world with four mentions in the UNESCO World Heritage List: the Mosque-Cathedral (1984), the most important monument in the entire Islamic West; the Historic Centre that surrounds it (1994), with the Jewish quarter at its heart; the Fiesta de Los Patios (2012), a unique cultural expression; and the Medina Azahara (2018), an archaeological site of what once was the palatine city that Abderramán III built as a symbol of the power of Cordoba’s Caliphate.
Córdoba receives about 2 million tourists every year, attracted by the city’s rich historical-heritage and museums, with one of the best archaeological museums in Spain. Other tourist attractions are the world of the Spanish purebred horse, flamenco, and its excellent culinary tradition. Cuisine, in fact, is in itself a great attraction, thanks to the quality of its products and the wide range of taverns, markets and restaurants.
The Historic Centre of Córdoba was declared an Area of Artisanal Interest in 2014. Within Cordoba’s Association of Artisans, which includes 18 different trades, leather goods, luthiers and their flamenco guitars and ceramics of the north of the province are especially noteworthy.
New key sectors that will transform Cordoba's economy.
The following sectors are playing a key role in the transformation of Cordoba’s economy.
The transport and logistics sector plays a fundamental role in the economy of Córdoba. Its progress has been linked to the economic development of other productive sectors that require the movement of raw materials, transformed products or capital goods.
Several factors have influenced its growth: Córdoba’s strategic location as a gateway to the rest of Andalusia, the most populated region in Spain; the excellent infrastructure and intermodal modes of transport available; competitive storage and transport costs and the availability of land; the presence of traditional industries, such as agri-food and auxiliary industries like the refrigeration industry.
The Córdoba Logistics Area, belonging to the Andalusian Logistics Network, promotes logistics and urban distribution activities in the province. With a total area of 36 Ha., it is very close to the metropolitan area of Córdoba and right next to the most important rail freight terminal in all of Andalusia. Cordoba’s Logistics Area plays a fundamental role in the flow of goods in the Guadalquivir Valley, connecting with the main transport routes.
Cordoba’s general urban development plan, the document that lays out the urban development of the city, includes more than 2 million square meters of land for the development of this activity.
Army logistics base
The future Army Logistics Base will reinforce the commitment to this sector in Córdoba. This base, which will mobilize an investment of more than 350 million euros and will generate more than 1,700 direct jobs and over a thousand indirect ones, will be responsible for logistical support at its highest level. It will be quipped with a robotized 45,000 square meter warehouse) and 150 boxes for vehicle repair of all ground weapons systems. Located in the Rinconada industrial park, 18 kilometres from the capital, it will be served by the Madrid-Cádiz railway line and the Madrid-Seville highway (A-4). Eleven of the twelve facilities that the Army has throughout Spain dedicated to maintaining its vehicles will be located there.
This project will help materialize the potential of Córdoba logistics sector, benefiting other companies in the sector. It will also be a boon for the local industry, which has a great opportunity to take advantage of the investments to be made in areas such as robotics and industry 4.0. Due to the high technological component of the Base, a the relationship with UCO and with the most innovative tech companies in the region is expected to flourish.
In recent years, thanks to the push of the Science and Technology Park and the commitment of technology companies to the city, an important hub around the technology industry has developed in Córdoba. Multinational companies coexist in the city with important national firms which have grown considerably in recent years.
Also contributing to the strengthening of the sector are technology companies with origins in Cordoba and already global reach, as well as start-ups with great technological capabilities.
Thanks to the strong development of the Agri-food sector and the efforts in research, development and innovation carried out by the University of Córdoba, the Imibic, the Reina Sofía University Hospital and other research institutes and companies in the sector, Cordoba’s Biotech industry, both green -linked to agriculture- and red -linked to living beings-is going from strength to strength.
The new Zoonosis Research Centre and the Córdoba Biotech incubator for biotech companies located in the Rabanales 21 Technological Science Park are a shot in the arm for the sector in Córdoba.
Industry 4.0 and metalworking
The Digital Content Hub, created by the Córdoba City Council in collaboration with the national public entity Red.es, will specialize in Industry 4.0. This will be a basic sector for the aforementioned Army Logistics Base, which will contribute to the development of the city’s long-standing metalworking sector.
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