Portugal received a historic 99 greenfield foreign investment projects last year, the highest annual figure since 2003, according to fDi Markets.
The number of greenfield FDI projects to Portugal has been growing steadily since 2014, with last year seeing approximately 34% more investment than 2017, finds fDi Markets.
The country is set for another exceptional year, given that the first half of 2019 has already witnessed an unprecedented number of FDI projects at 55.
Mainstream foreign investment to Portugal has also been recovering since 2015, despite rather disappointing figures last year, according to data from the World Bank.
The US, France and Spain were the main greenfield investors into Portugal in 2018, while software and IT services was the most targeted sector, overall, finds fDi Markets. In fact, FDI into that industry has increased non-stop since 2014, in terms of capital.
Portugal is recovering quickly from the financial crisis. The job market has significantly improved, with unemployment falling to 6.7% in June 2018, the lowest since 2004 and a big improvement from 2013’s all-time crisis-high of 17.5%, according to research company Trading Economics.
The country’s tech boom has been a key factor in the country’s recovery. London, Berlin, Paris, Copenhagen and the Portuguese capital of Lisbon are the biggest hubs for start-ups in Europe, says the EU Startup Monitor 2018. From Portugal’s thriving start-up scene has emerged several tech unicorns such as Farfetch, Talkdesk, Uniplaces and Unbabel.
The number of foreign residents registered in Portugal rose by more than 93,000 to almost half a million, a historic high, according to Portugal’s Foreigners and Borders Services.
The tech boom, combined with Portugal’s recovering economy, stable politics and concentration of educated and Enlgish-speaking talent, is making the country a highly desirable place for investors and foreigners to move to.
Investors also benefit from the Portuguese ’startup visa’, ‘golden visa’ scheme and attractive non-habitual tax resident regime, effectively a tax holiday for a worker’s first 10 years of living in Portugal.
Many large companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen, BNP Paribas, Natixis, Zolando, Bosch, Siemens and Euronext have already moved or are in the process of establishing and expanding offices in Portugal.