By: Bernardo Trindade
Portugal is now one of Europe’s success stories. Fitting in a wider picture of a strong positive momentum of the country’s economy and outlook, companies are pouring in and the country is reaping the economic benefits of the added exposure.
Tech start-ups and digital development centres are being set up all over Portugal and hiring qualified local workers. Google has opened a support centre on the outskirts of Lisbon and creating 500 tech jobs for skilled workers, as well as BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen, BNP Paribas, Natixis, Zalando, Bosch and Siemens, Euronext, among many others.
Expatriates working in this companies are finding a welcoming country with high-quality standards of life. Being a tolerant, open and safety society help it rank the 4th most peaceful in the world. Its privileged hours of daily sunlight, leisure offer, gastronomy, affordability, and healthcare system, contribute to make it the favourite European country for expats to live, and where they find the highest personal happiness. English is widely spoken in business, resulting in being easy to find multinational operations with Portuguese, Spanish, British and German people where English is used has the main language.
The UK investors also recognized this opportunity and are contributing to the momentum. The UK in 2018 climbed to the top position on Portugal source of foreign direct investment – ahead of China, Netherlands and Spain – with an investment flow of £711 million (€896 million), a growth of 18% vs. the previous year.
That’s why that in the loom of Brexit, the Portuguese Government is committed to maintain its ancient preferential status for Britain and its citizens, pillared from the world’s oldest active alliance, established in the Anglo-Portuguese treaty of 1373.
In April 2017, the Government of Portugal launched a temporary taskforce - Portugal IN, aimed at assisting UK businesses and citizens to integrate seamlessly in the country for operating their EU bases, in a joint work with the Portuguese Trade and Investment Agency, Turismo de Portugal and other public entities. #Brelcomecampaign to reaffirm the country’s ongoing commitment to British citizens, with the slogan “Brelcome, Portugal will never leave you”. In one month, the campaign reached already more than 13 million people in the UK.
Looking at the big picture, investors are expressing a growing optimism on Portugal attractiveness with the majority confident it will continue to improve over the next 3 years, exceeding those of Germany, the UK or France, according to the most recent European survey by EY, a consultant company. This is a clear signal for investors to include the country in their shortlist for potential investment locations.
Bernardo Trindade is the President of the Executive Committee of Portugal IN