Portugal was the 10th most attractive country for foreign direct investment (FDI) in Europe last year, according to a study by professional services network Ernst & Young (EY).
The EY Attractiveness Survey Portugal 2021, which assesses the perceptions of foreign investors each year, found that 154 FDI projects were announced in the Portuguese market in 2020, 70 per cent with funds originating from Europe and 30 per cent from the rest of the world, creating at least 9,000 jobs.
However, the 154 projects represent a 3 per cent decrease compared to the 158 counted in 2019 due to the uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused the attractiveness of FDI in European countries to drop 13 per cent compared to the previous year.
Despite the slight downturn in FDI in Portugal, 37 per cent of respondents in the study said they plan to set up or expand operations in the country in the next 12 months.
In 2020, manufacturing was the most attractive activity in foreign investment intentions, with 37 confirmed projects (24 per cent), although it recorded the largest drop compared to 2019 when there were 60 projects.
Research and development took second place, having attracted 21 per cent of foreign investment (33 of the confirmed projects), especially in the areas of digital and information technology.
Lisbon remained the most attractive region for foreign investment, with a total of 68 projects (62 in 2019), mainly in the areas of digital and business services, followed by the north of the country, with 55 projects (51 in 2019), mainly in digital and manufacturing and transport equipment supply, reported CLBrief.
The top three positions of the most attractive economies in Europe for foreign investors were taken by France, the United Kingdom and Germany.