In a list of 161 countries published by Forbes, Portugal ranks 25th as the best country to invest in, ahead of countries such as Italy and the Czech Republic.
Since Portugal joined the European Community (former EU) in 1986, the country’s economy has become more diverse and increasingly service-based. Over the next two decades many companies were privatized and liberalized key areas of the economy, such as finance and telecommunications.
During the 1990s, the Portuguese economy grew more than the EU average, but slowed from 2001 to 2008. After the global financial crisis in 2008, it contracted and receded from 2011 to 2013, when the government implemented expenditure cuts and raised taxes to meet conditions set by the EU-FMI, a financial bailout program, signed in May 2011.
In 2014, Portugal successfully exited the EU-FMI program and its economic recovery gained momentum in 2015 due to strong exports and a recovery in private consumption. GDP growth accelerated in 2016 to around 2.5% in 2017. The budget deficit narrowed from 11.2% of GDP in 2010 to 1.8% in 2017, exceeding EU and FMI expectations of 3%.
With an excellent quality of life, support for entrepreneurship by the government and young and well-qualified professionals, Portugal is a promising destination to invest.