Making Portugal the centre for services, enterprise and investment
Recently I was invited to attend and contribute at the Think-Tank event hosted at Martinhal Resorts Cascais, organised by PortugalIN and the British Portuguese Chamber of Commerce.
The event invited entrepreneurs, investors and business drivers of Portugal’s economy to discuss how best to improve conditions for international investment into Portugal thus further strengthening the recovering economy.
Discussions initially focused on overcoming and reducing typically Latin bureaucracy and improved fiscal incentives for investors such as improved tax breaks and tax right offs. It was generally agreed that Portugal is improving in these areas and will continue to do so with the combined support of both Government and private sector motivators.
However, the key factor to significant growth was highlighted as the “scale” factor. Accounting decisions and tax laws are almost binary decisions. Whilst no fiscal ruling change is ever clearly binary these are all decisions that can be made and are within the control of those with the power to pass such measures
Keep up with the ever-increasing demand for talent
Scale is another issue. Portugal’s ability to serve the growing international demand for skills is always going to be tied to the circa 10M population. No government policy of any note can affect the nation’s willingness to increase the population.
The consensus around the table was that a Fast Track Higher Skilled Migrant Worker Visa program should be investigated in order to allow Portugal to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for talent.
With the limitations of the H1B Visa program in the US and the Brexit confusion in the UK, Portugal stands at the doorway of a significant opportunity.
The eyes of the world are currently on Portugal as one of the leading locations for technology innovation. Portugal can steal a march on its competitors to compete for a significant share of the global outsourced technology services market.
Deliver against the demand
Portugal’s culturally aligned Lusophonic neighbour Brazil has a population in excess of 200M. Sao Paolo state alone has 45M. Brazil is technically advanced, has excellent academic institutions with a strong track record for technical faculty success. Harnessing this young, highly skilled and willing to migrate workforce could form a significant, game winning strategy for Portugal.
Portugal has started to win the trust of the leading “service seekers” now she needs to demonstrate the ability to creatively and effectively deliver against the demand.
About Phil Wright:
Over 20 years experience providing high-quality global technology solutions and delivering ethical excellence to the technology sector, namely helping Portuguese companies break into international markets and establish foreign trade. Overcoming cultural differences and language barriers.
Specialties include Offshore (ODC) & Nearshore Technology Solution Delivery, dedicated team building and partner acquisition as well as helping international companies benefit from the highly talented Portuguese labour market.