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Why Portugal?

By Luís Castro Henriques CEO & Chairman aicep Portugal Global

Luís Castro Henriques-compressed

Portugal is increasingly a destination for ambitious multinationals worldwide. Just this year, Volkswagen and Amyris committed to Portugal, setting up two major R&D centres!

Most of these projects are anchored in R&D activities, technologically demanding and advanced with a growing number of firms co-creating products with Universities and other centres of knowledge.


We are evolving from Made in Portugal to Created and Made in Portugal.

Investors are considering Portugal for the location of their hi-tech, technology- intensive activities and industries. In that regard we can see evidence in the expansion of the automotive and aeronautical sectors in Portugal. New projects in 2017 included investment, for example, by the German engineering giant Bosch, the French aeronautics component producer Lauak, tire-maker Continental and U.S.- headquartered Portuguese software developer OutSystems. This last company has just been named a new unicorn in the startup industry.

Investment in Portugal’s export-oriented sectors doubled last year to hit a record high, underlining the country’s fast shift up the economic value chain. Overall, between 2007 and 2014, AICEP raised the same amount of investment that we had been able to raise between 2015 and 2018, so this means the Agency was able to double the rate of investment. Good news for Portugal!

Portugal is boosting its competitiveness in order to stimulate economic growth in a sustainable way – and according to Doing Business 2018 published by The World Bank, Portugal is one of the Top 30 best countries in the world when it comes to doing business.

We firmly believe that our current offer is very attractive. So, why should you invest in Portugal?Por do sol da expo de Lisboa_parque_nacoes_dreamstime_xxl_39056713-min


a) Talent availability that embraces change and innovation from a world class science and university system. Let me recall that we have great Engineering, Business and Economics Universities, with three Portuguese Business Schools among Europe’s best, according to the Financial Times ranking. Also, the quality of Portuguese Engineering is one of the relevant factors in the decision to invest in Portugal, mainly to move up the value chain and capture high technology projects.

b) Portuguese young people have multi-language skills, speaking two or more foreign languages, which show their will to work with multiple markets. They are skilled and flexible. Talent has become more important than cost reduction as what really matters is overall productivity.

2. STRATEGIC LOCATION: Portugal is a platform from Europe to the Atlantic countries – Americas and Africa. We are also a gateway to the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) with more than 250 million consumers. Therefore, investing in Portugal can give access to more than 750 million consumers.

3.INFRASTRUCTURES: We have high quality ICT infra-structure, top of the line logistics, a broad and diverse number of reference institutions, suppliers and companies oriented to R&D and innovation.


a)  A strong new generation of start-ups, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial businesses has placed Portugal on the map as a technological hub. Portugal has also been signalled by investors in the high technology sectors and can be an interesting platform for startups with ambitions in the scale up phase.

b)  Portugal has also competitive grants and incentives, for instance, for job creation, innovation, R&D and start-ups. Furthermore, AICEP provides incentives, including tax breaks and loans from EU cohesion funds for investors in export-oriented businesses. For example, there has been a strong growth in demand for R&D incentives in the country, with a yearly volume of projects supported 2x higher and a much larger pipeline of projects underway: Over €500M, which doubles the total value of R&D projects the Agency supported between 2007-2014.

5. Last but not least, there are other ATTRACTIVENESS ASPECTS, such as hospitality, easy integration of expatriates and the fact that we are a pleasant and safe country to live in. According to the Global Peace Index we are the 4th safest country in the world in terms of security and social peace!

These key factors, especially talent, are also attracting to Portugal many Shared Service and Software Development Centres. Siemens, Mercedes-Benz, Nestle?, BNP Paribas, Altran, Natixis, Vestas and Bose are only a few examples of international companies that chose Portugal. The great growth and potential of the country as a new hub of global services happens because Portugal has clearly risen in the value chain. The growing specialization of processes, services, products and resources is an opportunity where we can differentiate ourselves.AEprod44

We are very happy that investment from all over the world and in leading, innovative and dynamic sectors is coming to Portugal. AICEP – Portugal Trade & Investment Agency and Portugal’s Institutions as a whole are highly committed with strengthening this trend given its importance to Portugal’s economy, as these investments are creating highly-qualified employment, fostering an innovation ecosystem and boosting exports.

For all the companies that are thinking of new investments please contact AICEP – aicep@portugalglobal.pt – and our Delegations – to schedule a visit to Portugal.

Luís Castro Henriques

CEO & Chairman aicep Portugal Global

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