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Barcelona has a long-standing mercantile tradition. Less well known is that the region was one of the earliest to begin industrialization in continental europe, beginning with textile related works from the mid 1780s but really gathering momentum in the mid nineteenth century, when it became a major center for the production of textiles and machinery. Since then, manufacturing has played a large role in its history. As in other modern cities, the manufacturing sector has long since been overtaken by the services sector, though it remains very important. The region's leading industries today are textiles, chemical, pharmaceutical, motor, electronic, printing, logistics, publishing, telecommunications and information technology services.

Drawing upon its tradition of creative art and craftsmanship, Barcelona is nowadays also known for its award-winning industrial design. It also has several congress halls, notably Fira de Barcelona(Trade Fair), that host a quickly growing number of national and international events each year, which had also meant the opening of new hotels each year. However, the economic crisis and deep cuts in business travel are affecting the Council´s positioning of the city as a convention centre.

Barcelona has one of the highest costs of living in Spain, and occupying the 31st position in the world rank according to a report by Mercer Human Resource. Catalonia is the principal Spanish industrial area, with automotive engineering, electronics, chemistry and the textile as growth industries and for a few years the agroalimentary one. The services represent 60% of the activity, industry 36% and the agriculture less than 4%.

 
 
 
 
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