With a population of about 800,000 inside city limits, Valencia is Spain’s third-largest city, after Barcelona and Madrid. Valencia is one of Spain’s oldest cities, founded in 138 B.C. Historic sites, futuristic architecture, museums and other cultural attractions draw tourists to Valencia. Almost 1.6 million people reside in the area surrounding the city, making it a major economic and industrial center. An intensive labor force supports a diverse economy, which is made up of mostly small and mid-size businesses.
With an abundance of fruit from neighboring regions, the food and agriculture industry has the largest presence, followed by wood furniture. The metal-mechanic sector is the biggest employer, and the city has a strong ceramic and toy manufacturing presence. Valencia’s main exports are wine, oranges, lemon, rice, furniture, ceramic tiles, fans, textiles and iron products.
Valencia’s port, El Grao, is one of the busiest on the Mediterranean and the largest container port in Spain. It has undergone extensive renovations, and additional expansion projects are under way. El Grao handles 20 percent of the country’s exports, making it an extremely important logistics hub on the east coast of Spain.
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