Recently, BRIC Plus was invited to attend a most informative and enlightening breakfast briefing jointly spearheaded by the Portuguese US Chamber of Commerce and the AICEP, the leading Portuguese Trade and Investment Agency. AICEP Chairman and CEO, Miguel Frasquilho, inspired guests with a range of formidable facts about investment opportunities and lucrative incentives awaiting foreign prospects in Portugal.
There are several distinctively attractive factors about the country as it relates to Western investment opportunities; according to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) competitiveness ranking, Portugal rose 15 places within the past 4 years, becoming the 36th most competitive country worldwide, and the steady decline in unemployment is accompanied by an increasing number of exporting companies and world market share gains. In 2014, the Financial Times named Lisbon the second best city to invest, whilst the World Bank ranked Portugal as the 1st country within the EU-28 where it is simpler to create a new company– forming a new business takes up to 2.5 days and 3 procedures. Property registration easily transpires within 1 day and 1 process.
For the skeptical mind, there is additional evidence that supports and further encourages investment in the country. According to WEF, Portugal ranks number 12 in the world as far as quality of infrastructures; it has the second best quality of roads in the world, 23rd amongst the quality of port infrastructure, 20th amongst the best quality of air transport– the Porto Airport was “distinguished” as the 3rd Best European Airport in 2013– and ranks 23rd among the best on the world for quality of railroad infrastructure. The attractiveness of the country’s importing and exporting sector is enhanced by the recently launched Atlantic Corridor, a rail freight line between Portugal-Spain-France that will be extended to Germany by November 2016.
Not only is the country invested in its roads, railways and international impression, there is a tireless devotion to maintaining the rigorous standards of its universities and educational institutions. According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2014-15, performed by the WEF, the quality of management schools in Portugal ranks number 4, for quality of scientific research institutions it ranks at number 18, and there are several beneficial tax incentives provided to businesses that generate employment opportunities for the unemployed aged between 18-30 years old. It is commendable how committed the country is to improving the lives of residents, and prospective inhabitants.
Mr. Frasquilho proudly boasts that Portugal is not only a great place to invest, but is also a uniquely wonderful place to live and enjoy. Not only is the country safe, sunny and typically mild in climate, it also has high quality health care facilities. Adding to the allure of its rich leisure and cultural amenities, Forbes magazine listed the city of Algarve as the Best Place in the World to Retire (2014). Spellbound by visions of leisure in Lisbon? Rest assured; Portugal is transforming itself into a formidable oasis for both business and pleasurable endeavors.