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Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal

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Portugal was voted the 26th most attractive destination for foreign workers in 2020, a rise of four positions compared to 2018.

Portugal was voted the 26th most attractive destination for foreign workers in 2020, a rise of four positions compared to 2018 in the ranking led by Canada, according to a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report released on Thursday.

 

“Portugal is the 26th most attractive destination for foreign workers. This position represents a rise of four positions in the ranking compared to 2018,” according to a joint statement from BCG, The Network, which participated in the development of the report, and Alerta Emprego.

 

Leading this assessment is Canada, overtaking the US, which until now was the most attractive destination.

 

However, according to the report, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on interest in working abroad, with the preference falling on countries with better results in containing the new coronavirus.

 

On the other hand, as the managing director and senior partner of BCG, Rainer Strack, pointed out that with the increase in remote work, many consider that they can work virtually without emigrating.

 

In this sense, almost all the countries that recorded rises in the top 10 of the assessment successfully contained the pandemic, such as Australia (3rd position) and Japan (6th position).

 

Singapore and New Zealand, which were also praised for their response to Covid-19, appear in the top 10 for the first time.

Conversely, countries such as Germany and France dropped two places, while Italy and Spain are no longer among the top 10 destinations.

 

As for cities, the trend is similar, with New York, Barcelona, Rome or Madrid now considered much less attractive than in 2018.

However, Tokyo and Singapore are more attractive, similarly to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

 

Lisbon, meanwhile, moved up 12 positions, from 40th place to 28th.

 

In Portugal, almost half (48%) of the respondents are willing to work outside the country, while worldwide, this is 50%, below the values recorded in 2018, namely 58% in the case of Portugal and 57% worldwide.

 

Despite the lower receptivity to change country, 70% of the Portuguese said they were willing to work from Portugal, but for a foreign employer, above the world average, which stood at 57%.

 

By sector, at a global level, around 71% of respondents with a digital or analytics background and 67% with IT experience said that they would be willing to work for a company without a physical presence in the country.

 

In terms of educational qualifications, among respondents with a Master’s degree or higher, the percentage of responses in this sense was 62%.

 

“This report reinforces the view that Portugal can seek to position itself as a preferred destination for companies and workers, especially in a context of increasing digitalisation and new forms of work,” said Miguel Abecasis, managing director and senior partner of BCG’s Lisbon office, in a statement.

 

Portugal has features that are difficult to replicate, and that should be leveraged, he said, such as the good quality of the education system, the mild climate, security, friendly culture, cuisine or the level of English of much of the population.

 

In total, 209,000 people in 190 countries were surveyed for this study.

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