In all, according to the EY Attractiveness Survey, Portugal secured 59 major investments, up from 47 in 2015, although due to the new projects’ scale or nature, just 2,500 jobs were created, compared to 3,500 created by FDI projects in 2015.
“Job creation is clearly affected by a reduction of the average number of jobs created per project,” the study notes, adding that it was “lower than both the average before the crisis and the previous year”.
Germany and Spain were the main investors in Portugal in 2016, with 14 and 10 projects respectively; German investment was mostly in manufacturing. France led in terms of job creation, with 900 new jobs, although it ranked fourth in number of projects, with eight.
The US and Japan were also among the main sources of FDI in Portugal last year, “which illustrates the country’s geographical reach and logistical potential”.
The study also highlights the optimism that 62 percent of foreign investors expressed as to Portugal’s future and the desire of 32 percent of investors to step up investment in the country in the next year. Research and development and logistics were the sectors with the most investment intentions, while manufacturing, marketing and sales also featured.
According to the EY survey, Portugal is “on the radar of investors, reporting investment intentions above the European average and projecting an increase in the country’s attractiveness”. Among factors here are the current lack of industrial strife, the potential to increase productivity, and relatively low labour costs.
Less favourable factors are corporate taxation, political and legal stability and transparency, and employment regulations.
The Lisbon region is seen as the most attractive but Porto appears as the destination with the most new investments and most job creation.
The survey included 203 phone interviews with international investors, including both companies that already have activities in Portugal (62 percent of the total) and others that do not.