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Portugal, an Eldorado for French investors


Portugal's economic dynamism seduces entrepreneurs. Expatriation professionals, working with French companies or individuals, explain the reasons for this craze.

In recent years, Portugal has regained its economic shape. With a growth rate of 2.7 % and a falling unemployment rate of around 8 %, the country is attracting more and more foreign investors through lower corporate taxes. The country is attracting more and more foreign investors through reduced corporate taxes. Many of them are French entrepreneurs conquered by the Portuguese quality of life. A conference on this subject, "Expatriating and investing in Portugal", was held in Paris on the occasion of the Expat Forum 2018 on June 5th.

Good economic health

At PortugalThree regions in particular are experiencing significant development: those of Portoof Lisbonand theThe Algarve, in the south. The North is more industrial, while the South is more conducive to tourism. Digital capital, Lisbon organizes every year the Web Summitone of the largest tech conferences in Europe. It brought together nearly 2,000 start-ups during its last edition. L'real estateThe textile and mechanical subcontracting sectors are examples of sectors in full effervescence, in search of investors or qualified foreign executives.

Investing in Portugal: what are the advantages?

One of the leading European countries in terms of foreign investment, "Portugal is very competitive"Laurent Marionnet, General Manager of the Luso-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCILF). The country attracts in particular thanks to its famous tax exemption applied to the income of foreign workers under the status RNH. This status of "non-habitual resident"is for people living in Portugal more than 183 days a year and have not lived in the country in the five years preceding the application. If these conditions are met, income tax is capped at 20 %.

Local labor is cheap, "even if this is starting to change". Moreover, dynamic metropolises such as Porto or Lisbon, which have become expensive, are beginning to displease investors, who have recently become interested in medium-sized cities. The latter appreciate the quality of the local workforce, "hard at work"reassures Alain Muller. For Laurent Marionnet, the Portuguese are a people "conqueror" because of their history, and are "particularly internationally oriented"This would explain their policy in favour of foreign investment, which is sometimes criticized within the European Union.

An undeniable quality of life

At PortugalMany companies are looking for a French-speaking workforce. Because of the presence of large French groups. "Speaking French is an asset"says Laurent Marionnet at the end of the conference. But this should not prevent French expatriates from learning the language. According to him "essential for integration as well as for creating a professional network"."The advantage is that there are few cultural differences and you quickly feel at ease, he adds. The quality of life is an undeniable factor. Responsible for the influx of foreign workers. "We feel perfectly safe there." also notes Laurent Marionnet. This is not always the case in European cities. The public health system is also "excellent".

Finally, many French retirees choose to live in Portugal also because of the tax benefits granted to people under the status RNH. They are entitled to a full tax exemption on their retirement pensions for ten years. However, this massive influx of wealthy immigrants has increased the cost of living, especially in Lisbon. Some Portuguese people admit to being disappointed with the economic dynamism that has been generated, which has led to uneven development in the regions.



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