Portugal’s potential for foreign investment under the spotlight at The Business Year’s first event in Lisbon

Senior executives from across the Portuguese business community gathered for Unlocking Portugal: Investment Insights & Opportunities, the first event held by global media group The Business Year (TBY) in Portugal.

Six high-level speakers from business associations and leading companies spoke to a C-level audience about their perspectives on the short- and long-term opportunities and challenges facing Portugal.

The event, which was opened by TBY Portugal Director Cristina Villegas, came shortly before the release of The Business Year: Portugal 2023, TBY’s latest publication dedicated to the country, and delved into many of the same topics. To produce it, Villegas led a team that spent four months researching and conducting more than 130 interviews with senior executives from various sectors of the Portuguese economy.

Attractive tax incentives, highly skilled workforce, and social and political stability are some of the advantages highlighted by American Chamber of Commerce in Portugal (AmCham Portugal) President António Martins da Costa, who opened the event with an overview of the Portuguese economy. Martins da Costa also referred to the resilience shown by the national economy to respond to some of the recent macro challenges, such as COVID-19 and the subsequent inflationary and interest rate pressure.

Worth EUR30.7 billion in 2022, residential real estate remained the leader in wider real estate investment last year, according to Hugo Santos Ferreira, President at the Portuguese Association of Real Estate Developers and Investors (APPI). In a speech that followed Martins da Costa’s, Santos Ferreira spoke of the importance of the real estate sector as one of the main sources of FDI, describing it as a segment that is attracting particular attention from US investors despite the end of the Golden Visa program.

The end of the Golden Visa was the first topic addressed in a roundtable discussion featuring four speakers: Gonçalo Santos, Head of Capital Markets at JLL; Daniel Tareco, Board Member at Habitat Invest; Miguel Pernes, Managing Director Portugal at Hitachi Energy; and Bernardo Maciel, Partner at Yunit Consulting. During the discussion, panelists commented that the existence of other investment tax regimes will help mitigate the end of the Golden Visa program.

Other topics addressed included Portugal’s leading position in the European renewables sector, the strength of its small- and medium-sized companies and the efforts they are making to digitalize, opportunities in the real estate sector beyond residential properties, and steps being taken to decarbonize the economy.

The debate was followed by a networking session at the Corinthia Lisbon to close the event.

The event Unlocking Portugal: Investment Insights & Opportunities was produced in collaboration with the American Chamber of Commerce in Portugal (AmCham Portugal), The Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIP), the Portuguese Association of Real Estate Developers and Investors (APPII), and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Portugal (CCILE); and supported by Revista Business, as media partner, Between Collective as video partner, A3, as graphic arts partner, and LXPRO as audio partner.