Doing Business in Portugal

Portugal is the oldest nation-state in Europe, having continuously been fought over since prehistoric times, though its borders have altered little since 1297. Now a founding member of NATO and a member of the European Union (EU) Portugal still retains its global importance. Located in the westernmost part of the Iberian Peninsula and home to a population of more than 10.3 million people, the country offers a vast consumer market and trade links for companies thinking of doing business in Portugal.

Despite suffering a severe financial crisis following the economic downturn, Portugal has recovered better than countries such as Greece and Italy. Indeed the global economic crisis came at the end of a decade of fiscal stagnation for Portugal and encouraged the government to change a number of its policies to surpass EU growth predictions. At present, with an upward economic trajectory, Portugal consistently scores highly on the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ reports and offers one of the lowest operation costs in western Europe. The main agricultural products are cereals, olives and their vineyards. The main industries in the highly diversified economy are cement production, fishing, oil refineries, automotive and shipping machinery, paper injection moulding, electrical and electronics, plastic products, textiles and leather. Interestingly Portugal is also the world leading producer of cork!

While business culture in Portugal is formal, the Portuguese people are generally very warm and friendly, so expect hospitable introductions. Indeed, the country’s corporate affairs remain primarily relationship based.

The World Business Culture website has all the information you need to form and maintain these business relationships when doing business in Portugal, as well as the knowledge base on legal, tax and financial frameworks so as to ensure success when doing business with the Portuguese.


This country-specific business culture profile was written by Keith Warburton who is the founder of the cultural awareness training consultancy Global Business Culture

Global Business culture is a leading training provider in the fields of cross-cultural communication and global virtual team working.  We provide training to global corporations in live classroom-based formats, through webinars and also through our cultural awareness digital learning hub, Global Business Compass.

This World Business Culture profile is designed as an introduction to business culture in Portugal only and a more detailed understanding needs a more in-depth exploration which we can provide through our training and consultancy services.

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