You are here: Home › Portugal 2019

Spirit of resilience

Over the last decade, Portugal broadened its economy not only to attract more foreign tourists but also to interest more overseas investors and expatriates. With the recessions of 2008 and 2013 caused by domestic fiscal issues and a eurozone slump behind them, the country has made tremendous progress as GDP growth reached 2.1 percent last year.

“Portugal is a small country. Having just one neighbor, Spain, we decided to cross the seas. We became people of exploration. We went to Africa, India and Brazil. We extended ourselves across the globe, establishing communities everywhere,” President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa says.

“So this small country is not so small after all, because of our historic global geographic and economic influence,” de Sousa adds.

The relations between Portugal and the United States can be traced back more than 200 years and continue to remain important to the geopolitical and economic interests of both nations. Among those making significant contributions to nurturing these ties is the Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD), a private group founded in 1985 by the Portuguese government.

“FLAD’s role is to promote Portuguese development through bilateral cooperation with the U.S. We want to focus on science and technology, education and culture. FLAD has been fostering ties between the Portuguese and American societies through people to people contact,” FLAD President Rita Faden says.

While its traditional industries, like textiles, wine, olive oil and shoes, have recovered, Portugal developed its own biomedical and biotechnology industries, and nurtured a vibrant tech startup sector. A clear sign of Portugal’s new-found status: the country hosts the annual Web Summit, widely considered the world’s most important tech event.

Further afield, in the north, Braga is rebranding itself as a city that is, as Mayor Ricardo Rio calls it, “a fusion of history and the future, of tradition and youth.” Portugal’s third-largest city after Lisbon and Porto, Braga is very proud of how it is preserving ancient cultural heritage while attracting global brands, like Bosch.

“The innovative approach of the University do Minho makes it one of the best in Portugal. It works closely with industry and produces world-class research,” Rio says.

Over the past decade, Portugal’s ideal location, climate, quality of life, security and highly-skilled workers have attracted many foreign investors, particularly in the property market.

The Golden Visa has become a popular way of investing in Portugal as it allows foreigners to become permanent residents through a 350,000 euro investment in real estate needing restoration.

Square Asset Management has helped many foreigners invest in Portugal. Founded in 2002 as a purely independent asset manager in real estate, pension and the company now oversees nearly 1.5 billion euros in funds and other financial vehicles, working with companies like Apollo, Oaktree and Signal Capital.

“We develop and grow activity in all sectors but especially in real estate. We went from zero to 1 billion euros in management twice with a 12% market share. We manage the biggest Portuguese fund with around 700 million euros and more than 23,000 unit-holders,” Executive Director Pedro Coelho says.

Square Asset Management has proved its global status by winning the MSCI award eight years in a row for overseeing the highest return balanced portfolio. To achieve long-term growth, it plans to diversify its products, clients and markets, starting with a new fund-raising structure in Luxembourg for institutional clients.

Meanwhile, RRP Advogados, set up in 2016, has established its position as one of the leading law practices in Portugal. Amid the influx of foreign investment, the young law firm employs many experts in various fields who provide sound advice and innovative solutions.

“We possess both technical and commercial capabilities. With years of collective legal experience in both domestic and international markets, we are a bridge, an ideal partner for future clients and investors into Portugal,” Managing Partner Ricardo Reigada Pereira says.

Another law firm earning preferred adviser status by foreign investors, individual and institutions, is CMS Rui Pena & Arnaut. Established in 1964, it is well known for its full-suite of services in the fields of energy, IT and intellectual property as well as its profound expertise in labor and corporate law.

“We have a very strong private sector. We have a very stable political system. We are a country you can trust, and we are always interested in receiving and welcoming foreign people,” says Managing Partner José Luis Arnaut, who is also president of Lisbon’s Tourism Agency.

As the head of the capital’s main tourism promotion agency, Arnaut oversaw tourism in Lisbon grow 80% between 2015 and 2017, far above the 12% national average during the same period.

Founded in 2017, Home Tailors specializes in real estate funding and brokerage and is a highly sought out partner of foreign investors.

“We distinguish ourselves by offering our clients quality, comprehensive service, with our proficient experts. We support Golden Visa investors, providing the best real estate solutions,” CEO David Carapinha says.

Beyond investments in hard assets, some in Portugal are not neglecting the importance of its human resources. Since 2002, I Have the Power (IHTP) has offered training and coaching programs geared to improve the interpersonal, leadership and communication skills of its clients.

“Our vision, which is the foundation of our company and brand, is to solve the challenges of the future. Starting with the education of children and continuing at every stage and every age of their lives, we don’t teach technical education, rather human education,” CEO Adelino Cunha said.

Today, IHTP is present in 53 countries around the world with 70 consultants across Portugal, France, Brazil and the United States.

Home Tailors CEO David Carapinha

Portugal 2019 was prepared for and originally printed in Foreign Affairs magazine.

PDF of the printed report

Next :  

latest special Reports:

Upcoming Reports from

Greece 2020

See Preview »

When Greece and Japan celebrated the 120th anniversary of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations last year, the two countries welcomed "a...

Saudi Arabia 2019

See Preview »

Guided by its Vision 2030, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has committed itself to a path of economic, industrial, social and digital transformation. A...

  • Global Media is your partner in reaching a powerful international audience through high-level economic reporting.

    Our ambition is to highlight under-reported developments and opportunities around the world, and allow leaders in these regions and sectors to take their message to the highest global level. We partner with top media to communicate with the world’s most powerful audiences. We specialize in communication and branding initiatives that help our clients effectively get their messages to their existing and potential partners. We achieve results for our clients by introducing them and their initiatives to an audience of elite international business and government leaders.

    Global Media Inc. is an independent media agency with offices in Hong Kong and Canada. GMI has more than a decade of experience in the writing, researching, and production of promotional country reports, with media partners from East Asia to North America. We have teams worldwide that develop country and thematic reports on the latest economic trends and developments.

    We are a media partner of Foreign Affairs,the United States’ most influential publication, published by the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.

    Nearly a century old, there isn’t a more influential or higher-reaching publication in the United States than Foreign Affairs. The journal is ranked #1 in influence by U.S. opinion leaders in a recent nationwide study conducted by Erdos and Morgan, the premier business-to-business research firm. Their findings place Foreign Affairs ahead of all media, both print and broadcast, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and The Washington Post.


    “We were extremely impressed with how efficient, well-coordinated, responsive and reliable the Global Media Inc. team was. We owe them a lot for their professionalism. We were very pleased with the outcome, and the article was very well-written. We hope to have an opportunity to work with Global Media Inc. again in the near future.� – Japan Airport Terminal Co. Ltd.
    “The Global Media team’s professionalism was excellent. Their team was great and always gave us the right suggestions and information. The product was excellent, and we were very happy to have such a great opportunity working with their excellent team.â€� – National Graduate Institute of Policy Studies (GRIPS)
    “We were honored to be chosen as one of the good universities in Japan. This article conveyed Seigakuin University’s educational ideals and the message from President Akudo. The advertisement was conspicuous and gave a good impression that Seigakuin nurtured students to contribute to world peace. We really appreciated what Global Media Inc. had did for us.â€� – Seigakuin University

    Whom we have featured:

    • Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard
    • Australian Foreign Affairs Minister (and former Prime Minister) Kevin Rudd
    • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
    • Qatari Minister of International Trade and Industry Dato’ Sri Mustapa bin Mohamed
    • Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Yoshiaki Takaki
    • Taiwanese Foreign Minister Yang Chin-Tien
    • Taiwanese Finance Minister Lee Sush-Der
    • Taiwanese Economic Affairs Minister Shih Yen-Shiang
    • Taiwanese National Science Council Minister Lee Lou-Chuang,
    • Taiwanese Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Yeh Kuang-Shih
    • Taiwanese Political Deputy Minister of Education Dr. Lin Tsong-Ming
    • Indonesian Ambassador to the United States Dr. Dino Patti Djalal
    • Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board Chairman Gita Wirjawan
    • Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III
    • Philippine Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile

Join our newsletter

Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get the latest news and updates directly to your inbox.