In last years, Portugal has been chosen as the main destination for tourists and investors from all over the world, attracted by the excellent weather, location, infrastructure and an escape from other risk destinations such as the countries of North Africa.
In addition to these natural and circumstantial factors, programs to encourage foreign investment through Visa Gold have been successful in attracting French, Chinese and Brazilian investors.
Relevant statistical data
- GDP growth in 2015 reached 1.6% and is expected to remain at that level in 2016 and 2017 (indicating the recovery since 2013);
- Unemployment in Portugal has declined in recent years, after a peak of more than 16% in 2013. The rate for 2015 stood at 12.6% and 10.5% in September 2016.
- In 2015, the spending of tourists who traveled there for business reached 21 billion euros;
- Some market niches currently own about 90% of the business dominated by foreign investors (mainly the prime segment);
- The geographical location is very strategic, the country has four international airports, five international seaports and one of the most developed road networks in Europe, being a privileged business platform and a bridge to many foreign routes;
In last years, Portugal has implemented several tax reforms, which puts the country today in the top 10 of the most attractive for investment, with a 23% tax reduction for companies. Tax incentives are also very generous for those who wish to invest in real estate in Portugal;
• According to the Global Index 2016 ranking, Portugal is the fifth most peaceful country in the world, behind Iceland, Denmark, Austria and New Zealand.
Most significant changes:
Through Law 29/2012, of August 9, regulated by 11820-A/2012 Dispatch from September 4th 2012 and more recently by Dispatch nº 1661-A/2013 of 28 January this year, several amendments were introduced to the legal framework of the “foreigners law”, the most important being:
A) The possibility of third-country nationals to obtain a residence permit in Portugal through one of the three types of investment typified by this new law;
B) The creation of a new type of residence permits for third-country nationals, the so-called “EU Blue Card”;