FranceInfo, French people of the world: Portugal, always more “attractive” for French companies

With more than 17 billion euros, France is the second direct foreign investor in Portugal. According to official figures, there are 60,000 French people living and working in Portugal. And if the country attracts some 750 subsidiaries of large French companies, it is because here the operating costs of the companies are almost half those in France.

Therefore, several sectors of the economy are growing, comments Laurent Marionnet, general director of the Portuguese-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCILF): “First tourism, obviously, which restarted the machine, then the financial crisis of 2008- 2014. Today tourism represents 20% of the GDP and there are always development projects. Then there is also the traditional industry, which must not be forgotten, because it is what allows Portugal, in times of difficulty, to function. For several years now we have been witnessing the relocation of companies that had gone to produce in Asia or North Africa. »

The mayor of Lisbon recently symbolically inaugurated a “unicorn factory” in the capital, named after these companies that emerged from new technologies and valued at more than a billion dollars. “We are not talking about traditional start-ups,” explains Laurent Marionnet, “Portugal is changing its face and is becoming a country of innovation with the creation of research and innovation centers, especially in the automotive sector, where there are many Germans. , with quite a few jobs, and they are opening research laboratories, with a link also with universities, which is done very easily, so it is a real advantage. »

Projects in process

The country is also far ahead in Europe in terms of green energy and intends to maintain that advantage. “There are periods in which there is a lot of wind or a lot of rain, in which the country works 100% with renewable energy,” says the Frenchman, “and this has been happening for several days. There are very important advances in wind, hydro and solar energy, and there are still many opportunities for French companies. »

Also in the transport sector there are many projects underway, such as the one Alstom obtained for the supply of 117 trains to Portugal. All trains will be assembled on site, in a factory built by the French group in the north of the country. “After Covid, there are recovery plans and European funds that have arrived,” recalls the Frenchman. Portugal has received a lot of aid and is taking advantage of it to update its infrastructure. We must not forget that during this financial crisis all public investments were blocked. We need to modernize and there are infrastructure projects, perhaps the construction of new lines, we hope to connect the Portuguese network with the Spanish network, which would then allow us to connect with Europe. »

According to the latest data from the Portuguese Central Bank, with more than 17 billion euros invested in 2022, France is the second foreign investor in Portugal behind Spain.

The truth is that if the cost of living is lower than in France, income is also lower: last year, the Portuguese net minimum wage was around 680 euros. The average salary is not much higher. The other side of the coin: a victim of its success, real estate prices have been skyrocketing in Portugal for several years. Read and listen to the column here

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The Portuguese-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCILF)

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