The Porto metropolitan area provides space for 23% of the manufacturing industry of Portugal. According to data published by the Bank of Portugal, in 2019, this region accommodated 15.3% of companies in food industries, 9.2% of companies in Beverage industry, 23.1% of textile manufacturing companies, 19.5% of companies in garment industry; 36.1% of companies in the leather and leather products Industry; 36.6% of companies in footwear industry; 36.7% of companies manufacturing wood, cork and articles thereof; and 38.2% of the companies manufacturing pulp, paper, cardboard and articles thereof.
a) IT and Communication (ICT)
Porto hosts top IT and Communication (ICT) companies and internationally renowned R&D centers.
Porto has been consolidating and strengthening its competitive position in the digital economy, thanks to the several players and innovators in the ICT sector present in the city.
In Europe, Porto is one of the most dynamic hubs in the sector, with the 3rd fastest-growing tech community in the country, according to Atomico’s State of European Tech Report 2018.
The city is striving to promote the development of innovative solutions for urban management. Porto is one smart city in the World’s Top 100, according to the Index of IESE Cities in Motion 2019.
The automobile industry is one of the most important in the Portuguese economy, representing a major share in exports and national employment. Some of the best examples in the sector are located in the region of Porto.
Large multinationals in the automobile sector, such as BMW, Continental or Bosch, have located their R&D, production and service operations in the city or in the region. In Porto, many of Portugal’s most successful joint ventures in the sector are found, such as Salvador Caetano or Critical TechWorks.
Portugal is internationally well known for its high quality in maintenance and engineering services in the Aerospace sector. The sector in the region has benefited from the presence of large companies in Portugal, offering maintenance and aeronautical engineering services, as well as some of the world´s largest aircraft manufacturers, such as Airbus Group and Embraer.
The strong dynamism of the ecosystem in Porto’s health sector has, in recent years, created a notable increase in its competitiveness and exports.
Companies located in the Northern Region and in Porto are internationally well known for their capability to research, develop, manufacture and provide a wide range of high-quality products and services, with great flexibility. From pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and medical devices to healthcare services or health and wellness tourism.
Porto has a high quality healthcare system, with excellent professionals, modern equipment and an increasing number of hospitals with awards and international accreditations.
d) Shared Services
With the investment in skills and infrastructure, the city of Porto becomes more and more attractive to international investors, especially when speaking about high value-added activities.
In this moment, many nearshore centers are already based in Porto, acting as engineering, shared services and contact centers for global operations.
Either in developing multimedia applications, programming and systems engineering, in the progress of e-government solutions and dematerializing processes or providing specialized technical support based on certified platforms, Porto has clear advantages as a strategic location for supporting models based on “follow-the-sun” methodologies, being known for having excellent professionals, with a very positive working culture and a multicultural mindset..
Porto has become one of Europe’s must-visit cities and the star of Portugal’s tourism sector.
Over the recent years, Porto has witnessed tremendous growth in its international prominence and the number of inbound visitors, making it one of the 100 most-visited cities by international visitors in the world.
As a result, the tourism sector has played a more and more important role in its local economy. The city becomes outstanding because of the fusion existing between its rich historical heritage and its vibrant cosmopolitan feel, which make it so unique.
f) Creative Industries
Porto is at the forefront of the Portuguese creative industries, especially in the sectors connected with production of design-based consumer goods, namely in fashion, textiles, clothing, footwear, accessories, furniture and jewellery.
Portugal’s Northern Region is well known internationally for the quality and capabilities of its textile, clothing and footwear industries, which have long been one of the biggest traditional driving motors for Portuguese industrial exports. The main textile and footwear industrial clusters in Portugal are located close to the city of Porto in the valleys of Cávado and Ave, as well as in the Greater Porto area.
g) Real Estate
Porto has proven to be a popular destination not only for tourism but also for real estate investment. An increasing number of international investors have been exploring opportunities in the city’s property market.
In recent years, Porto’s real estate market has flourished, driven mainly by growth in office buildings, residential and hotel ventures, attracting an increasing amount of domestic and foreign investments.
h) Energy & Environment
The municipality of Porto is committed to rebuilding a city that is ecologically sustainable, with healthy and socially sustainable communities, making it one of the most liveable cities in Europe.
Porto is home to a number of research and innovation centres with strong technical expertise in the field of energy and environment. The Centre for Energy Systems, which is part of INESC TEC – Institute for Systems Engineering and Computers, Technology and Science, was the leader of an EU energy efficiency project based in ICT, and a member of European consortium creating a road map to facilitate the large-scale integration of renewable energy. The Centre has close collaboration with companies such as Efacec and Iberwind.
Porto has taken a set of relevant measures in the area of sustainability, such as substituting the city bus fleet with 286 new eco-friendly vehicles, run by electricity or natural gas, replacement of street lighting by LED technology, and the development of a road map for circular economy.
i) Advanced Industrial Production
Porto and Northern Portugal is home to a large number of industrial entities in the country, which are leading Portuguese players in innovation and exports.
The region has a highly competitive ecosystem for development, test, validation, and demonstration of advanced production technology.
The advanced industrial production ecosystem in Porto is characterized by the presence of world-class entities and companies. These entities and companies have a wide range of competences in areas such as industrial automation, advanced computing systems, materials and compound structures, mechanical engineering projects, and product development.
j) Martime Economy
Portugal has one of Europe’s largest Exclusive Economic Zones rich in marine resources. Therefore, its maritime economy is among the key sectors for the development of Porto and Northern Portugal region.
The region has great potential for exploring traditional activities such as fishing, aquaculture, and maritime transport, as well as emerging activities such as seabed exploitation, biotechnology, and ocean energy.