Portugal is opening arms to Chinese investment, encouraging Chinese businesses to set up European headquarters in Portugal, said the investment counselor at the Portuguese Embassy in Beijing.
Portugal is located in southwestern Europe and is the maritime gateway to the European market, the investment counselor said. Although there are only 10 million domestic consumers in Portugal, it can reach the entire European market of around 500 million consumers.
Portugal also has a stable political situation, good public security, a sound legal system, and complete infrastructure. Coupled with a mature market economy, close ties with the Portuguese-speaking countries has made Portugal a unique investment opportunity for Chinese businesses.
Foreign investment plays a key role in the development of Portugal's national economy. According to the National Bank of Portugal, Portugal's cumulative net foreign direct investment reached 143 billion euros as of the end of 2019, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the Portuguese national economy.
According to data from the Ministry of Commerce of China, as of the end of 2018, Chinese investment in Portugal hit 2.525 billion euros, ranking the seventh. Currently, Chinese companies' investment in Portugal involves energy, finance, insurance, communications, engineering design and catering.
So far the world's top five auto brands have all set up production bases in Portugal, and seven of the 12 first-tier auto parts supply plants are located in Portugal. Portugal is close to Germany and Spain, Europe's largest and second-largest car-producing countries.
As more than half of the world's automobile spending was from Asia, China is high on priority on Portugal's development agenda. According to the head of the Portuguese Automobile Manufacturers Association, Chinese businesses are especially welcome to invest in the country's new energy and driverless cars.