Over the past few years, Portugal’s economy has gone from strength to strength. The country bounced back quickly following the financial crisis of 2008, and in 2019, its GDP grew well above the Eurozone average as the government announced a budget surplus for the first time in 45 years.
This dynamism and newfound confidence have made Portugal a very attractive prospect for investors. New startups are appearing across the country’s major cities, and forward-thinking entrepreneurs are already putting their money into Portuguese businesses and opportunities. In fact, even the active population is on the rise thanks to those looking to bring business to Portugal, with a growth in the employed and unemployed population between 15 and 64 years.
Its capital, Lisbon previously awarded Green Capital in 2020 has once again been put on the map, this time for sports. With improved facilities and sports management, the city has proudly become Capital of Sport 2021, showing its resilience, adapting to global trends and preparing for a greener future ahead.
The country’s 1,794 km of glorious coastline including a thriving capital on the banks of the river Tejo, has also helped Portugal standout from other crowded European countries and cities as we see a shift in investments to less populated regions even more so due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Largely speaking, much of the existing investment is going into real-estate, innovative startups and tech-based enterprises. However, there are plenty of other avenues to explore and Portugal is fast becoming one of the top destinations when looking for new opportunities to increase portfolio or simply investment diversification.
Below we explore some of Portugal’s most exciting sectors and what this means for investors looking to take advantage of its unique geo-location and the possibility of gaining a Golden Visa. Read on to learn more.
Portugal – A Global Tech Hub
In 2016, the world’s most important tech event, Web Summit, was held in Lisbon. Thanks to the overwhelming success of the event, and the friendly welcoming participants received, the city was chosen as the venue for the summit for the following 10 years.
It’s estimated that this will bring around $3.5 billion into the country over the next decade, putting Portugal firmly on the tech map. Additionally, it has also been a catalyst for numerous innovative startups and tech-based businesses moving to the country.
The Lisbon Investment Summit is another important event in the city. While not solely aimed at tech companies, it gives startups the opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors and create a global platform for their businesses. This looks to be working well. Last year alone, venture capital funds invested around $350 million in Portugal’s tech companies. While private equity investments have tripled to $7 billion over the past 3 years.
Eco and Agri-tourism in Portugal
Another area of the economy that’s incredibly important to Portugal is tourism. Every year, around 25 million people travel to the country to enjoy its climate, food, culture and attractions. While many of these visitors head straight to the sun-drenched beaches of the Algarve, more and more are opting for eco and agri-tourism alternatives.
Many of these eco and agri options can be found in the interior of Portugal, highlighting some of the lesser-visited regions within the country. As the 4th greenest country in Europe, Portugal is the perfect destination for a rural retreat. Travelling to a vineyard, farm, mountain village or olive grove gives tourists the chance to see a different side of the country and experience some of the best Portugal has to offer.
New eco and agri-tourism projects are springing up across Portugal, and the government is keen to encourage investment in these types of businesses. As a result of this growing industry, Portugal was awarded the ‘Best Sustainable Destination Award’ by ITB Berlin in 2019.
Real Estate Investment in Portugal
Real estate is possibly the most exciting sector of Portugal’s economy. In 2018, average house prices rose by 6.1%, and in 2019, they went up by an impressive 8.3%. This steady growth has made the country a very lucrative option for investors.
Although prices are going up fastest in cities like Lisbon and Porto, the entire country is seeing increased housing demand, creating opportunities across the board, and prospects for investment in real estate are incredibly varied. From newbuilds to renovations and commercial developments, real estate in Portugal offers a wealth of exciting projects as well as excellent returns.
Industry Diversification in Portugal
Portugal’s healthy industry diversification is of particular interest to investors looking to secure a Golden Visa. Growing tourism, rapidly rising real estate, innovative startups and a dynamic tech ecosystem combine to make the country one of the most attractive in Europe for investment.
For example, popular destinations for hotel real estate in the Algarve are quickly being matched by thriving tech scenes in Lisbon and Porto, while the eco-tourism boom is spreading wealth across the entire country. Combined, this type of diversification provides an effective hedge to fast-developing economies—giving you the potential to realise higher returns and more security on your investment.
Finally, the added bonus of a Golden Visa is ideal for non-European citizens looking to get a foothold in Portugal and the 27 member states of the EU. Boasting a wealth of benefits including a Portuguese passport, Portuguese citizenship after five years of legal residence, visa-free access to the Schengen Zone, and a 10-year tax relief program, investing in the country’s VC funds is a win-win.
If you’d like to find out more about investing in Portugal Golden Visa, the benefits of the Portuguese Golden Visa, living in Portugal or how to apply for the Golden Visa or how to get citizenship in Portugal, contact Planeur today. With more than 30 years of experience, we’re perfectly placed to offer support and guidance and help you through every step of the process. Get in touch to find out more.