Andorra, a new El Dorado for the princes of the web

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PyreneesAndorra, a new El Dorado for the princes of the web

The small principality nestled between France and Spain attracts more and more youtubers, influencers and other traders, for its advantageous taxation but also for its quality of life.

Andorra la Vella, situated at an altitude of 1023 m, is the highest capital in Europe. With a 10% income tax and 4.5% VAT, it appeals to digital gamers.

AFP

Influencers, e-sportspeople, youtubers: Andorra seduces and attracts the web world, thanks to advantageous fiscal conditions and a peaceful living environment, with the aim of making this small principality nestled in the heart of the Pyrenees a stronghold of digital professions.

Laptop in hand, luxury bag slung over her arm, Laia Falco roams the streets of Andorra la Vella to feed her “lifestyle” Instagram account, where she appears in restaurants and clothing boutiques in the area. This 39-year-old Spaniard, followed by 170,000 people, returned to settle in Andorra at the beginning of 2022. And, she makes no secret of it, the financial aspect weighed in: “From a tax point of view, it is very advantageous, there are many differences with the countries around us.”

With a 10% income tax, 10% also on company profits and a 4.5% VAT, Andorra and its almost 80,000 inhabitants stand out from their large Spanish and French neighbors. “It is an attractive tax system but approved at European level, we are no longer a tax haven”, explains Eric Bartolomé, Secretary of State for the Economy of the Principality.

The Spanish influencer Laia Falco, whose Instagram account is followed by 170,000 people, chose to settle in Andorra for its taxation but also for its quality of life.

The Spanish influencer Laia Falco, whose Instagram account is followed by 170,000 people, chose to settle in Andorra for its taxation but also for its quality of life.

AFP

Spanish youtuber El Rubius took up residence there

An increasingly important economic migration, accelerated after the beginning of the Covid epidemic by the arrival of the biggest Spanish youtubers, such as El Rubius and its 40 million subscribers on the video platform. “Then it was a snowball, when placing Andorra, some managed to discover it as a country that is right next to Spain with living conditions that they consider excellent”, estimates Eric Bartolomé.

Other professions followed: merchants, people specialized in e-commerce, but also renowned sportsmen. By welcoming this new population, Andorra intends to “diversify an economy very dependent on tourism, snow and cross-border trade”, appreciated by the French who come in search of alcohol, cigarettes and perfumes at low prices.

“Everything is better”

Vincent Huet, 29, a video game designer, arrived to work earlier this year. “Everything is better, it completely satisfies my lifestyle, really much more than in Paris, where I was just working,” he describes. With greater responsibilities than his last job in Paris, his salary “more than doubled”. “Taxes did not have a direct impact on my decision to come to Andorra”, he says, admitting, however, that without them his employer “perhaps he would not have been able to offer such a salary”.

Living in the principality for 22 years, Virginie Hergel runs the Set up Andorra agency, which accompanies people in their expatriation process.

Living in the Principality for 22 years, Virginie Hergel runs the Set up Andorra agency, which accompanies people in their expatriation process.

AFP

A new Dubai?

So can the small mountainous country squeezed between Catalonia and the French department of Ariège compete with Dubai and its cohorts of incoming influencers with many advantages? “There are many French YouTubers who contact me, who were in Dubai, who thought it was great, but now they are tired and target Andorra”, rejoices Virginie Hergel, who runs the agency Set up Andorra, underlining the “anonymity and quality of life” enjoyed by some of these stars.

“I may not be able to expand my influencer business as I would in Barcelona or Madrid because the partnership opportunities are less here, but for me there are many more positives than negatives”, confirms influencer Laia Falco.

🇧🇷AFP🇧🇷

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