The Canary Islands archipelago is one of the westernmost regions in the European Union, being a part of Spain, it is made up of eight islands and some smaller islets. Its 8 islands occupy a surface area of 7,492 km², with a population of 2.2 million, distributed mainly between the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria.
The tourism sector, the most important economic activity in the archipelago, is responsible for 30% of the Canarian GDP and 40% of employment.
Every year more than 12 million people come, either to spend a few days on these beautiful volcanic islands, or for a long stay as residents with the aim of developing business. English, Germans and Scandinavians are the European citizens most interested in this attractive destination.
In this post we analyze why the Canary Islands have become one of the preferred business hubs for thousands of European citizens and businesses.
What makes Las Islas Canarias the ideal destination for business
Thanks to the free mobility of the European Union, good transport connections due to their well-connected airports and ports with weekly flights to main European and African cities, and connections to all the main international ports, and telecommunications network, the Canary Islands are today a destination of great interest when it comes to doing long-term business.
The aspects that make the islands an ideal choice as a destination for business are:
European territory, European lifestyle
If you travel to the “Fortunate Islands”, as they are also known, you will experience an advanced European island setting, with the best of both.
This means a bustling and active European infrastructure combined with a vacation-like island lifestyle.
Best climate in Europe
The climate of this territory is very stable, with temperatures of 22ºC all year round. The temperature of its waters is also very consistent, oscillating between 24°C in the summer and 18°C in winter.
Try to find a European capital where there are pleasant and stable temperatures all year-round. If you go to the South of Europe, you will find much hotter temperatures during the summer and colder ones in wintertime, with pronounced extremes.
The European continent is well connected with the Canary Islands with daily flights to and from the main European airports. In fact, the islands have a total of 8 airports, which not only connect the islands with each other, but also host numerous national and international flights on a daily basis.
There are two main airports, Gran Canaria and Tenerife South. Both have direct connections to more than 140 destinations and are served by the main national and international airlines.
They also have port facilities that are one of its main economic engines, also connecting both nationally and internationally.
The main ports of the Canary Islands, which have a privileged location on the Atlantic, are the Puerto de la Luz port in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the largest in the archipelago, and the port of Tenerife, located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Both ports hold high positions in the ranking of ports with the highest traffic of commercial and tourist trips at national, European and global level, all of them have a solid infrastructure, with frequent import and export traffic and providing companies with multiple services.
The flight connections and the ferry services between the islands work regularly. And if you are a resident in the Islands, you get special discounts on your travel expenses.
From the Canary Islands you are only a few hours away from Europe and Africa.
During your stay in the islands, you will enjoy full connectivity with access to global markets and the ability to work from any spot. The network of internet suppliers is the same as in the rest of Spain, which is on par with the rest of Europe.
The best tax system in Europe
As a European outermost region, The Canary Islands have an Economic and Tax System (REF) of their own which is transparent, applies double taxation conventions and complies with all EU guidelines and competition laws.
The Canary Islands benefit from a special tax system different to the VAT we pay for in the rest of Europe. The general Canary Islands VAT rate is 7%.
Corporate tax rate
As for the corporate tax rate in the islands, it is one of the lowest in Europe at 4% in contrast with the mainland Spanish territory where it amounts to 25%. Furthermore, The Canary Islands have the world´s best tax breaks for R&D, for example in technology innovation activities, which means an annual 45% cost reduction.
Talented people for leading industries
In the Canary Islands you will find a well-skilled and prepared workforce. This territory is currently a European leader in industries such as marine services, ICT, renewable energies, audio-visuals, astrophysics, R&D, natural laboratories, video games etc.
A place for quality of life
The eight islands that make up the Canary Islands are all volcanic islands, but differ a lot one from another due to their location, climate and geological age.
Having the chance to explore and enjoy the beautiful “Islas Afortunadas” with such a varied climate, ranging from tropical greenery to desert-like landscapes, make living here a true experience.
Having such variety in islands is a real incentive to make regular “getaways” and enjoy some island hopping from one island to another either by regional flight or ferry.