Business Opportunities in Portugal

Business statistics:

1.278.164 enterprises
98.652.563.812€ value added by enterprises
1.650 net formations of enterprises (March 2020)
39th in Doing Business Index (Score: 76,5/100)
59,3 Billion $ in Exports
78,3 Billion $ in Imports
Top trading partners (export):
• Spain: 21%
• France: 12%
• Germany 11%


There are many reasons, as to why Portugal is an ideal location for business. Here are just some of the opportunities in the country.
Portugal is very attractive for business investment and company formation. Its immediate access to the Schengen area and ties to other European economies enable high volumes of trade across borders with the partner countries. Outside of the EU, there is also the possibility to trade with other major powers, most notably, Angola, Brazil and the USA which receive 8,9% of total exports. Outbound goods are plentiful, but products and services also flow into the country form the outside, so it is just as easy to get products and assets into the country as it is to export them. 1

All of the formalities for company formation and investment are kept as simple as possible so that business activity may take place as swiftly and efficiently as possible. The Doing Business Index shows that Portugal is making it very easy to form a company and that it is not a problem to get the business running smoothly very quickly.2

As for suitable business areas, Portugal lends itself to many industries. Because of its natural endowment with rare earths and lots of copper, it is a lucrative business to extract and process these materials. Copper wire production and the entertainment of a mineral refinery are hence sensible options. Apart from these, uranium can be found naturally and transported to the surface. Furthermore, forestry is prominent in the country and hence a large supply of wood is available. Opportunities include furniture production for instance.3

Other activities in the primary sector such as agricultural farming and fishing are also widely used. The long coast and overseas territories give excellent access to the maritime wildlife and present opportunities for capture of supply of fish in the country. Alternatively, oils from various plants, that are native to the country, can be produced with high quality and in high quantities as well.

Portugal’s industrial sector is strongly shaped by the production of tools and intermediate products for other industries. Most notably, car parts are produced locally and then shipped off. Portugal is the main producer of cork in the EU and exports a large amount of said product to its partners.

In the metropolitan regions of the country, there is also a rapidly growing high-tech industry. In Lisbon new technology companies gain a foothold, but in the north, this change is even more visible and pronounced. Specifically, in the Minho region many tech innovators are starting to see the possibilities that are present there. The University of Minho is the source of a lot of talent and eager students graduate from the university with high ambitions. The university’s ties to companies across the country make exchange between the industrial and academic sector easy and produce win-win situations. The university receives assistance from the firms, and they gain access to the skills and human resources of the university. UMinho’s nano-technology laboratory is a leading institution in its research field. In
addition to this, the city of Braga promotes the arrival of tech companies to the city by expanding the infrastructure necessary for the tech-industry.4

Services make up more than half of the country’s GDP and are a driving factor behind the growth it experiences. The tourism sector is one of the largest components of the tertiary sector and this is why services that are adapted to tourists’ needs are quite lucrative.

All in all, Portugal has plenty of opportunities for business. Recent changes have made trading and working in Portugal a lot easier to encourage investment and economic activity. With its plethora of resources and strong connections to the Schengen members, Portugal can provide fertile soil for all business endeavors.


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