Exporting guide to Portugal
Entry route to lusophone markets
Portugal is a gateway to Portuguese-speaking markets. These include Brazil, Angola and Mozambique.
Economic growth opportunities
The Portuguese economy is now growing consistently above the Eurozone average, with a very competitive knowledge-based export sector and a buoyant start up scene. Financial services, clean growth, life sciences and technology represent the biggest opportunities for British exports. Over the medium-term, there’s likely to be significant business opportunities in infrastructure, particularly rail and airports, and mining.
Portugal: at a glance
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Opportunities for exporters
There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Portugal have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors:
Digital transformation has become one of the top priorities of the business fabric in the post-pandemic world. 41% of Portuguese companies are digitalizing their financial processes and an additional 24% believe that this should be among their strategic priorities. In particular, there is demand for companies specialising in RPA, machine learning, big data and analytics.
It is important to catalyse a wider range offer of green finance products and to increase awareness of the long term benefits to look for these type of products. This is in order to align with the Green Deal, with the EU Taxonomy and environmental goals, with the Portuguese carbon neutrality goal for 2050 and with the green recovery ambition expressed in the Resilience and Recovery Plan.
Innovation and efficiency
Safer, easier financial services are born from technology applied to payments and financial transfers, loans and credits, personal finance, alternative finance, cybersecurity, blockchain, capital markets and wealth management. Portuguese mature institutions are demonstrating increased interest in working with new talented fintechs. 2021 was a turning point in the cooperation between these two worlds.
Cost efficient solutions
Due to the Portuguese Government implementing restructuring measures aimed at the sustainability of its National Health Service, as well as the private sector continuing to expand their offering, opportunities have arisen for suppliers who can produce innovative cost-efficient solutions. UK companies who can offer this will be well received.
Portuguese companies are looking for commercial and technological partnerships that are both cost effective and innovative. Their aim is to add value to their projects in Portugal and overseas, including in other Portuguese-speaking countries.
Recognition of British companies
UK expertise in life sciences is highly regarded in Portugal and there are many links with British companies, universities, and research and development institutions. Portugal is also an early adopter of new technologies, and somewhere players can benefit from one of the most advanced digital infrastructures in Europe.
Co-operation and investment
The main telecoms operators in Portugal have made substantial investments in the development of a fibre-optics network, one of the best in Europe, over the last decade. They are now preparing for the next stage in innovation and co-development with other tech providers. This translates into further investments in areas such as 5G, smart cities, visualization and digital experience, cloud services, data analytics, AI and machine learning.
Leadership in innovation
High profile technology events taking place in Portugal - notably the Web Summit - have expanded the country’s reputation as a tech and innovation hub. They've encouraged local players to innovate and adopt new technology solutions at a faster pace.
Many global tech players use the Portuguese market as a testbed for new solutions given the rate of early adopters, which makes it an interesting place to pitch new solutions to well established operators.
Portugal is very rich in mineral deposits which are not easy to extract and require sophisticated expertise. Therefore, British companies specialised in deep mining on the continent and in the sea bed are in demand in Portugal.
The exploration of minerals, such as lithium, require a process of refinery to obtain a level of high purity which Portugal does not have. Therefore, UK companies with this expertise, in particular with factory businesses, are in demand.
Lithium battery production
Although Portugal has high deposits of minerals like lithium, it lacks infrastructure for production and manufacture of products with lithium, such as storage batteries. Companies specialised in this are in demand.
Large scale solar energy
The Law-Decree (2018), that allowed licenses to be granted via auctions, aims at capturing around €6 billion of private investment for PV solar power plants until 2030. According to the Portuguese Association of Renewable Energy, solar energy in Portugal will grow 20 times over the coming years.
The Portuguese government is promoting the National Hydrogen Strategy, which foresees investments of €7 billion and the target of injecting 10 to 15% of hydrogen in the national grid by 2030. The first green hydrogen project will be developed by GreenH2Atlantic to develop a 100MW green hydrogen production project in Sines.
Investment in eco-tourism opportunities
There is demand from consumers for tourism outside of Portugal's urban centres. There is a growing market for eco-tourism and tourism which focuses on nature and sustainability. There are opportunities for British companies that have experience in this area.
Investment in high-end, luxury hotels
Portugal does not currently have many high-end, luxury hotels. There is an opportunity for British companies who are interested in investing in the luxury hotel market.