Portugal moves to 10th most attractive country for foreign direct investment

Portugal moved from the 11th to the 10th position of the most attractive economies for foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2020, in terms of the number of projects, in a total of 154, revealed today a study by EY.

In a challenging year like 2020, Portugal entered the ‘top’ 10 of the most attractive countries for foreign direct investment (FDI), in terms of number of projects”, announced today the consulting company EY.

According to the study, last year, 154 FDI projects were announced in the Portuguese market, 70% of which with funds originating in Europe and 30% from the rest of the world.

Those projects were responsible for creating at least 9,000 jobs, he says.

However, the 154 projects represent a decrease of 3% compared to the 158 recorded in 2019, due to the uncertainties caused by the covid-19 pandemic, which caused the attractiveness of FDI in European countries to fall by 13% year on year previous.

Despite the slight downturn in FDI in Portugal, 37% of respondents to the study plan to create or expand operations in Portugal in the next 12 months.

In the top three positions of the most attractive economies for foreign investors were France, the United Kingdom and Germany.

“Although economic prospects are still influenced by the pandemic, Portugal is starting to return to business and we expect to see an increase in the number of opportunities for M&A operations [sigla inglesa para Fusões e Aquisições] in Portugal”, pointed out Miguel Farinha, responsible for Strategy and Transactions at EY Portugal.

In terms of foreign investment intentions in 2020, Manufacturing was the most attractive activity, with 37 projects announced (24%), although it registered the biggest drop when compared to 2019 (60 projects announced).

The Research and Development activity comes in second place, having attracted 21% of foreign investment (33 of the projects announced), especially in the areas of Digital and Information Technologies.

“In addition to the digital and technological areas already representing a third of FDI projects captured last year, Portugal seems to be on the right track to attract future investments in these areas, as 45% of investors consider that the digital economy will be the main sector to drive the growth of the country in the coming years”, considered the leader of EY-Parthenon, Miguel Cardoso Pinto.

Lisbon remained the most attractive region for foreign investment, with a total of 68 projects (62 in 2019), mainly in the Digital and Business Services areas, followed by the North region, with 55 projects (51 in 2019 ), especially in the Digital and Manufacturing and Supply of Transport Equipment sectors.

The EY Attractiveness Survey Portugal 2021 annually assesses foreign investors’ perception of the country’s attractiveness as a FDI destination.


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