Strategic positioning of Portugal
National flag
Basic InformationWith almost nine hundred years of history, Portugal is one of the oldest countries in the world. Geographically located on the West coast of Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula, it borders Spain on the North and East and the Atlantic Ocean on the West and South. The Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira, two archipelagos located in the Atlantic Ocean, are also part of Portugal. Data concerning 2020 indicate that Portugal has a population of approximately 10.3 million inhabitants, of which about 47% is considered to be working population. Until the end of 2017, Chinese immigrants represented about 5.4% of the total immigrants in Portugal. The capital is Lisbon, which is also the country’s political, economic, financial, cultural, and technological center.
Investment Environment

Portugal is a member state of the European Union (EU). Its infrastructure is complete. It has also good social security and high degree of marketisation, as well as geographical advantages. It connects to the markets of European and Portuguese-speaking countries. The wage costs are at a low level among EU member states.

According to, the World Bank’s report on business environment, Portugal’s business environment in 2020 was ranked 39th among 190 economies.

The economy is characterized by the prevalence of the services sector, which corresponded to 75.8% of GVA and employed 69.9% of the working population in 2020. Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries represented only 2.3% of GVA and 5.4% of employment, while industry, construction, energy, and water supply corresponded to 22% of GVA and 24.8% of employment.

Over the last decade, in addition to a greater growth and diversification of services in the economic activity, there was also a significant change in the specialization pattern of the manufacturing industry in Portugal. It stopped depending on traditional industrial activities, and new sectors with larger incorporation of technology grew and became more dominant, especially the automotive and components sector, electronics, energy, the pharmaceutical sector, and industries related to the new information and communication technologies.

Trade Overview

The EU remains the main export destination of goods, representing 71.4% of the total exports in 2020 (70.7% in the same period of 2019), followed by other European countries outside the EU (9.2%), America (8.2%), Africa excluding the PALOP (5.8%), and Asia (4.6%). Portugal’s five main customers – Spain, France, Germany, United Kingdom, and the USA – accounted for 61.4% of the total exports in 2020 (60.8% in 2019).

Vehicles and other transportation materials stand for the most exported products in 2020 (14.8% of the total), followed by machines and devices (14.7%), base metals (7.6%), agricultural products (7.2%), and plastics and rubber (7.1%). These five main groups of products represented 51.4% of the total exported by Portugal during the year (51.3% in the same period of 2019).

China’s exports to Portugal include electrical machinery, electrical appliances, audio-visual equipment and the accessories thereof, boilers, mechanical appliances and parts. Goods imported from Portugal mainly are electrical machinery, electrical appliances, audio-visual equipment and the accessories thereof, vehicles and their accessories (except railway vehicles).