How Portugal became a paradise for techs and vacationers

Posted on October 3, 2019, 6:41 PMPosted Oct 3, 2019 at 7:06 pm

In the cobbled streets of the Beto district, east of Lisbon, startups and co-working spaces have taken over abandoned warehouses on the banks of the Tagus River. Gruesome facades give way to graffiti and the smallest business is transformed into a hipster bar or vintage boutique.

A former industrial district in the east of the Portuguese capital has become a new magnet for innovative companies, with the upcoming opening of the large Beato Creative Hub, a 35,000 square meter converted former military factory. into a hive of new technologies and creative industries.

bubbling from young shoots

Since it was selected in 2016 as Web Summit Headquarters , the annual high mass of geeks, Lisbon turned into new bubbles but not only. The entire country is capitalizing on this momentum and picking up technology investments. Among the latest to date, Google will create its second major operating center in Europe, with 1,300 jobs, the Mercedes Benz Digital Innovation Center, and BMW will develop connectivity and autonomous driving projects in alliance with a group of engineering from the University of Coimbra.

Companies are no longer choosing Portugal just because of its attractive labor costs, but also for the high and quality training of its workforce as well as for its surrounding innovation system. says Daniel Terrassa, dean of the Nova College of Business and Economics.

Promoted the Portuguese brand

This reversal is not the result of chance but rather.” As a result of a long-term strategy, it was established to promote the Portuguese brand abroad as a sign of quality and efficiency describes Susana Costa e Silva, professor of marketing at the Catholic University of Porto.

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It all started with the crisis, she explains, when, in order to survive, Portuguese companies had to embark on a forced march to the international level. ” The central administration then put in place a dual strategy to support companies in prospecting and help those who wish to invest here, by setting up a favorable tax environment and a full range of services to facilitate installation.. »

Tourism lever

The efforts have paid off, as exports increased from 18.07% of GDP in 2009 to 28.75% in 2018. While honing its reputation on the commercial side, Portugal also knew how to Take advantage of tourism to activate its image.

It took advantage of the crisis in the Maghreb to make tourists want to come or even settle there for their retirement as have already done more than 30,000 French, interested in the possibility of Tax exemption for ten years.

Miracle Economic Facade

But if tourism (12.8 million visitors in 2018, versus 6.5 million in 2009, for a population of 10.3 million) has contributed powerfully to the image of a country in complete transformation, so has it. Rising real estate prices (by 30% in three years). A bitter pill for the frustrated Portuguese population whose salaries and pensions did not keep up. On the part of the left parties, we condemn “ The interface of the economic miracle It is driving the middle classes out of their traditional inner-city neighborhoods, and spreading social unrest among those still waiting to benefit from the economic recovery.

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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