Portugal is the most western European country with a land border with Spain. Having been a full member of the European Union (EU) since 1986, Portugal is now one of the fully-fledged members of the European Monetary Union (EMU).
Its population is now approximately 10.5 million people and the official language is Portuguese. However, English is spoken by most of the people and is also widely used in business.
Portugal is an independent and sovereign republic. The legislative power lies with the Parliament and its members serve a four-year term.
The country has historical and close relations with old colonies, especially Brazil, Angola and Mozambique.
Portugal’s open economy, strong ties with the European Union, and strategic geographic location, make it an excellent country for foreign investors.
Small and medium size companies employ most of the Portuguese workforce and they have a strong weight in economy. The most important industries are fabrication of transport equipment, textiles and clothing, footwear, electrical equipment, manufacturing, and mechanical engineering. The key sector of the economy is tourism; major tourist centres are Lisbon, Algarve and Madeira.
Portugal has a considerably skilled labour force, with an unemployment rate of around 11%, and low labour costs compared with other European Union countries.
Portugal has invested in modernizing its communications infrastructure. The result is an impressive network of modern roads and highways, crossing all major cities in the country, with rapid access to Spain, and air and maritime route facilities.