Business OpportunitiesKey Sectors in Portugal

Key Sectors in Portugal

KEY SECTORS IN PORTUGAL

AERONAUTICAL

Defying the skies for a century

Portugal has a diverse set of skills in the aeronautical industry, from cork coatings to sophisticated technological systems that monitor critical appliances, and even in the development of aerostructures and unmanned aircrafts. 

These competences have already been recognized by the largest international players, such as Airbus, Embraer and even the European Space Agency. The first has begun replacing the plastic and rubber in the planes’ fuselage with Portuguese cork, and have already incorporated Portuguese optical fibre sensors into their Airbus A-380. Embraer has opened two component plants in Evora, in order to manufacture their KC-390 planes, utilizing Portuguese know-how to develop structural modules for aircrafts such as fairings and landing gear doors.

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AGRIFOOD

Beyond our iconic products

The Portuguese agri-food sector is defined by genuine local products, produced exclusively in Portugal, which makes them highly competitive abroad, being associated to healthy dietary habits, such as the Rocha Pear and the Bravo de Esmolfe Apple.

The sector's importance comes not only from its economic value (representing 2 billion Euros of business volume and 16% of the total of the Portuguese industry), but also from being one of the main suppliers of the so-called Mediterranean Diet, adopted by an increasing number of European consumers.

At the same time, the investment in new technologies in association with the development of premium quality products and with superior validity periods, enabled the production, processing and preservation of food products destined to more distant clients such as Brazil and Angola.

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Invest in Food & Vegetable - Invest in Portugal 2015

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AUTOMOTIVE

Portuguese automotive world

If you are a sports car fan or if you are among those who prefer to feel nature around you, while driving, you may have already heard names such as Scirocco or EOSSharan or Alhambra  may also sound familiar if you like to have “everyone on board”. Though these names are “stars” in the automotive world you may not know that they are manufactured in Volkswagen AutoEuropa the flagship of the automotive sector in Portugal and also, consistently, one of the Top 5 best Volkswagen plants around the world. Manufacturing approximatly 100.000 cars per year, overseas customers – namely from Germany and the US - account for 98% of total production.

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BIOTECHNOLOGY

Portuguese biotechnology industry

Over 40 companies, most of wich created between 2001 and 2006, are attracting international attentions over the biotechnology industry in Portugal. With a strong focus on R & D, and millions of euros invested, these companies work – in some cases – in diferent areas of activity and are developing, among others, pharmaceutical products that help to improve your quality of life. Most frequent area of activity, in the Biotechnology industry in Portugal, is Healthcare & Medical followed by Agro-food and Enviromental Biotechnology. Knowing this, projects in Healthcare & Medical areas arise naturally.

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BUILDING MATERIALS

Building Materials for your comfort and pleasure

Portugal has a solid reputation, acquired over the years, in the field of Building Materials, from a significant number of construction works, in the four corners of the world, where our materials were used.

Portuguese Building Materials are used in Palaces and other complex construction works such as airports, subway stations and hotels. They are used in emblematic buildings such as the Rockefeller Center and Miami’s Cultural Center and they may have even been part of your home construction.

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ECO-INNOVATION

eco-innovation from Portugal

Sustainability must be at the forefront of economic development. Recognizing this, a large number of Portuguese companies has already embraced eco-innovation as a driving force in their R&D activities and in their product and service portfolios.

Public policies are also focusing on how to promote eco-innovation and how to support these companies in their R&D and internationalization efforts. Actively engaged in the EU Eco-Innovation Action Plan, Portugal participates in the ECOPOL, Eco-Innovera and Environmental-NCP-Together Programs, pursuing an effective interchange of information and experience that enables a fast-track identification of best practices.

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ENGINEERING AND ARCHITECTURE

We transform indomitable rivers and solid rocks into works of art.

Portugal has a solid reputation within the engineering and architecture sectors, which has been obtained over the years, with a significant number of works that reach the four corners of the world.

14 of the main world architectural works are Portuguese, according to the Phaidon Atlas of the Contemporary World Architecture, projecting the country’s excellent reputation and technical competence.

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 FOOTWEAR

Conquering the future with design and innovation

The Portuguese footwear sector has some of the most technologically advanced companies in the world and is the largest global exporter within the high quality segment. Portugal exports, mainly, leather footwear and competes in international markets with quality, design and innovation.

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FURNITURE

Tradition, design and innovation

This sector has a high level of operating efficiency with the capability of a quick turnaround for small production series. These are the two competitive advantages that place the Portuguese furniture sector as one of the best worldwide.

The Portuguese furniture industry has a long tradition and accumulated know-how that allows it to offer high quality products at competitive prices in relation to its international competitors.

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HEALTH

5 new drugs in the next 7 years  

By 2020, the Portuguese Health Sector is predicting to introduce to the market or for clinical trials 5 new drugs; develop more than 50 new diagnostic methods or innovative medical devices; surpass 4 billion Euros in annual turnover and export more than 70% of its production.

These goals reflect the strong dynamics of the Portuguese Health Sector which is characterized by high levels of quality and security, in accordance to the world’s best practices, and high flexibility of its companies to offer, rapidly, small and medium sized production series at competitive prices.

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ICT

Portuguese ICT

Back in the XVI century, Portugal played an important role in the navigation technologies field giving the world the astrolabe. Five centuries later, the country delivers another extraordinary and usefull navigating tool. A Portuguese company created the world’s first GPS navigation system with aerial photographs. Ndriveis just an example of a growing number of Portuguese companies that are delivering cards in the High Tech world and giving a strong contribution to the business growth in the sector. Portuguese ICT market has an estimated turnover of 18.5 billion euros and generates an added value of about 5.7 billion euros. The sector has over 14 thousand companies employing a total labor force of 79 thousand people.

From financial services, to software, hardware and telecommunications, Portuguese companies have achieved a high level of excellence and international recognition with state-of-the-art products and services. Portugal's multifuncional 24/7 ATM machines make life easier for those accessing financial or public services. It is also the homeland of Via Verde, an innovative electronic system that allows to pay highway tolls and car parks or even pay gas at petrol stations without having to leave your car. Via Verde processes 500 thousand transactions per day.

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 METALWORK

Cooperation between companies reinforces innovation

The Portuguese metalworking industry is highly diverse, with around 9,000 companies manufacturing a vast number of intermediate products or finished products.

This sector, more than any other in Portugal, highly benefits from the cooperation and partnerships between companies and the reinforcement of employees’ training, which has brought about a wide range of innovative products with  a high value-added, thus reaching a larger number of clients and markets.

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MINING

Mining Industry

Due an excellent location Portugal is considered a place with great potential for the exploitation of mineral resources.

Portuguese territory covers half of the Iberian pyrite belt, the main metalogenic province of Western Europe, and the main primary source of base metals in EU.

Neves-Corvo is the largest copper mine in the EU and the extensions of these prime resources are considered excellent.

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 MOULDS

Plastic Mould Industry

The production of Plastic Moulds Industry is a high technological added sector and it is highly developed in Portugal playing an international leading role with overseas customers accounting for 80 per cent of total sales.  The country is among the world’s largest mould makers, particularly when it comes to moulds for plastics.

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NAVAL

Privileged assets in the Naval Industry

Portugal offers unique competitive advantages to the development of naval construction and repair sector.

Located on a crucial point of some of the most important maritime international routes, Portugal offers a privileged location as a maintenance port for vessels crossing the Atlantic. Good weather conditions, all year around, are also a key factor.

Portugal has 9 international sea Ports. The Lisbon Port represents 34% of all cargo shipped in Portugal, followed by Leixões (32%) and Sines (28%).

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OLIVE OIL & WINE

Portuguese world-class wines

It’s rewarding to know that Portugal plays a role in your moments of joy, happiness and of achievement. Whenever you celebrate and do a toast, with a glass of wine in your hand, there is a strong possibility that you’re toasting with a Portuguese wine. No matter if it is a Port, Rosé, Green, Red or White. It is a wine of guaranteed high quality.

Over the past 15 years, Portugal has become very competitive in producing world-class wines and an award winning country in this field. Not surprisingly, day after day, there are Portuguese wines winning prestigious awards around the world. Two Portuguese brands are among the world’s Top 100 strongest wine brands. This helps to explain the success of Portuguese wines in International markets that accounted for a turnover of 650 million euro in 2011. Of course, Port wine plays an important role here accounting for 301 million euro.

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PACKAGING

Packing great global brands

 Portugal is well known, worldwide, for the production of packaging and the sector shows a strong capacity for innovation and development of products. The Portuguese companies compete in a very aggressive market in direct competition with some of the largest worldwide manufacturers of packaging and make profit out of being different from the rest.

The world’s fourth plastic packaging manufacturer comes from Portugal. This company is present in eight countries with 44 production units and is the creator of a new innovative idea within Europe called “Hole in the Wall”; this consists of outsourcing integrated in client’s factories, such as Candia, Coca Cola, Exxon Mobil, Procter & Gamble or Nestle.

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PETROCHEMICAL & CHEMICAL

 Petrochemical and Chemical Industry

The Portuguese petrochemical and chemical industry is crossing a very dynamic period with new expansion projects and new factories.This industry plays an important role in national exports, gross value added and employment.

The Sines Complex and Matosinhos/Estarreja Chemical Complex are the main industrial clusters.

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 PULP, PAPER AND CORK

Technology and creativity in a sheet of paper

Portugal is a leading country in the pulp and paper sector, not only in the technology and creativity used in its products but also in terms of market share.

The country is the 1st European producer and the sixth worldwide of uncoated fine paper with a share of 16.1% of total production, the 3rd largest European producer of chemical binders with a 9.2% share in the production in this kind of paste and the 4th largest European overall pastes producer with a share of 6.3%.

From forests to pulp and paper production and distribution, the sector asserts itself increasingly as an engine of national exports, ranking the Portuguese companies among the worlds` largest and giving an important contribution to national GDP.

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RENEWABLE ENERGY

Renewable Energy

According to DBK the renewable energy production market generated, in Portugal, a total revenue of 680 million euro in 2008 representing a growth of almost 33%, when compared to 2007. And if one were to include the revenue of the sector as a whole "including equippment production", the revenue would be considerably higher. The DBK study emphasizes the extraordinary growth of this sector, over the last years, and the high potential still ahead.

Portugal currently has a total production capacity of 8151MW in renewable energies and plans to upgrade this capacity to over 11000 MW within two years, according to the National Energy Strategy program. Though these objectives may be considered "bold", they have been reviewd and upgraded. Eight new dams will be built and many others will be upgraded. Portugal is transforming clean energies into opportunities.

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SHARED SERVICES

Shared Services Centers

Portugal has 450 companies working in the Shared Services Center sector generating a turnover of 1.3 billion euro witch represents about 1% of total GDP. Among these companies are well known leading brands like Cisco that has already 3 Shared Services Centers based in Portugal. After Hercules and Liberty, the company has just started a new SSC in the country. The same goes to Nokia Siemens Networks that has just inaugurated its second Global Network Solutions Center. Why? “We see Lisbon as a wonderful location to invest” said Jim Blum, Cisco’s Inside Sales Director in a Portuguese Newspaper. This statement helps to explain why a growing number of companies are choosing Portugal to invest in SSC, why the industry is showing a two digit growth over the last 4 years and is expecting to keep this track on the coming years. Portugal has a great location, installed expertise, advanced communication systems and low installation and running costs, namely, very competitive labor costs, when compared with other countries competing in this sector.

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TEXTILES

Fabrics with Technology, Fashion and Design

The textile sector is one of the most dynamic sectors of the Portuguese economy offering products of high added value and technology.

Portugal produces fashion combining creativity, design and brand and is also the choice of world leading brands for the production of their collections.

Design and creativity combine in perfect harmony, with technology giving rise to fabrics that can transform the act of dressing in to a new experience.

Portugal produces fabric with nanotechnology that incorporates bactericide or relaxing, fabrics capable of monitoring vital signs or that transform perspiration in heat or cold.

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