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Portugal prevails as an attractive FDI destination

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    September 1, 2019

    EY European Investment Monitor reveals an inflection in the pace of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows – Portugal secured 74 FDI projects, corresponding to at least 6,100 new jobs created.

    In 2018, the cumulative stock of FDI inflows to Portugal stood at €119 billion, which accounts to approximately 60% of the country’s GDP. This is among the highest rates in Europe.

    These results show sustained investor confidence, stemming from a welled trenched economic recovery, increasing domestic demand, rapid
    growth of exports-oriented sectors, and an indisputable focus on external diplomacy and foreign investment. All this contributed to broad-based growth observed across sectors and the stabilization of FDI activity levels in 2018.The Portuguese calling for trade is internationally recognized – Portugal ranks first out of 190 countries in the Trading across Borders category of the World Bank’s Doing Business Index.

    According to the Future of Languages Report, Portugal is seen as “a gateway into a Lusophone [Portuguese speaking] market of 250 million people”. Portuguese is the fifth-most widely spoken language globally and it was ranked the eighth-most important language for the UK’s future prosperity, security and influence in the world. It is the official language in nine countries, and it is spoken by people spread across Europe, Africa, America and Asia.
    Additionally, Portugal is uniquely positioned at the intersection of key shipping routes between Europe, America and Asia, making it an appealing hub for foreign investment within the framework of global value chains.

    EY Attractiveness Survey reveals that 52% of respondent investors expect Portugal’s attractiveness to improve over the next three years, while 36% expect it to stay the same (up from 28% in 2018). Those who already operate in Portugal remain more optimistic about the country’s future attractiveness.

    According to Bloomberg, Portugal is among the 60 most innovative countries in the world. In the Global Competitiveness report, the Portuguese innovation ecosystem is also highly regarded. Out of the 140 economies considered, Portugal is 32nd in the innovation capability indicator and 26th in the quality of research institutions.

    Luís Araújo, the President of Turismo de Portugal, confirms that “tourism has been reinforcing its relevance in the Portuguese economy, already accounting for 13.7% of GDP. The sector is worth €16.6 billion in turnover and Portugal positions itself more and more as a destination to visit but also to live, study and invest in”.


    • Digital remains the most popular business sector for foreign investors, as well as a leading job creator.
    • 33% of investors believe the tourism sector will drive Portugal’s growth in the coming years.
    • 25% of investors believe the ICT sector will drive Portugal’s growth in the coming years.
    • In 2018, Portugal improved its connectivity ranking in the Digital Economy and Society Index, moving up to eighth place in the EU.
    • Portuguese ICT sector will grow by 2.2% in 2019.


    Source: E&Y