algeciras economic advantages

Free trade zone in Los Barrios

With the development of a free trade zone in Los Barrios, Maria Jesus Montero, the Minister of Finance, has laid the first stone for the rise of the El Fresno site. Soon, this shall transform into a territory with booming tax and customs advantages.

Here are few key points regarding this upcoming free trade zone:

  • 2.4 million euros will be invested to redesign and prepare the location
  • Commercial activities will flourish here because of its strategic location near the A-7 and A-381 highways, and is only a few kilometres from the Port of Algeciras. 
  • All activities will be exempted from paying VAT.
  • Significant cost savings in this region offers a competitive benefit.
  • By 2022, 70 companies are expected to set up, generating a minimum of 800 jobs.
  • The initial 38,900 square meters in the El Fresno South region is now complemented with 95,000 square meters leased to the Public Agency of Ports of Andalusia (APPA). This totals up to 130,000 square meters of free land.
  • While adaptation works will run for eight months, the state entity is offering this space for organizations in the logistics and commercial sector.
  • First free zone bordering the Bay of Cardiz.

Sitting between Africa and Europe, the location provides an exceptional choice to run a profitable business. 


Moreover, due to the Brexit scenario, Gibraltar’s commercial situation offers a vast opportunity to bring companies to this free trade zone. 

Companies from the UK and parts of Europe can reap the benefits of the Bahía de Algeciras tax area. 

Positive Signs of Economic Growth

While the authorities are putting in their best efforts to kickstart the project, here are a few guaranteed positives of the free trade zone:

  • The government of Spain has granted its full support for the Special Plan for the Campo de Gibraltar.
  • Los Barrios will be the central axis of Campo de Gibraltar.
  • Unemployment in the municipality will decrease because of the tax and customs precinct.
  • Companies are already contacting authorities to help them get established in the region.
  • Commercial opportunities will make Los Barrios the epicentre of the development of Campo de Gibraltar.


The responsible Business Promotion and Foreign Trade Area representatives have confirmed that the sectors to be involved are logistics, healthcare, global market businesses, and international capital promoters.

Here are some commercialization specifics of this free trade zone project:

  • 3 differently sized plots to accommodate a variety of projects. Plot 1 is 42,095 square meters big, plot 2 is 27,331 square meters big, and plot 3 is 10,840 square meters big.
  • An additional plot called CST-1 (Center for Transportation Services) houses 9 developed warehouses along with 23,000 square meters of occupation space.
  • High bidders can occupy all fiscal land, and they’ll be responsible for all construction activities as per the fiscal precinct’s regulations.
  • A period of 8 months is allotted for completing construction. 

Railroad Development

Prioritized highly in Montero’s agenda, who labels it as an “emblematic” project, they plan to modernize the railway infrastructure. 

Most importantly, the General Budgets of 2022 will account for this since a well-interconnected railroad ecosystem will offer a reasonable, effective, and convenient transport framework to all the companies. 

Seven years of paperwork

Since 2014, negotiations have been running to authorize this zone as a tax area. It was in 2017 that the consortium obtained the land. Furthermore, a ministerial order was required to create a zone that offers tax benefits on these lands. 

Once the Government of Spain included this project as a strategic enclave in the Comprehensive Plan for the region, only then was the occupancy of this free trade zone granted a boost.

Finally, in October 2019, the Ministry of Finance approved the ministerial order. Work was started almost immediately. Watch this space. 

Costaluz Lawyers has been helping companies and individuals relocate to Spain for over ten years. If you’d like any additional information on the new Algeciras logistic area services, please do contact us today for a free, no obligations consultation. We’re here to help.

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