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Porto takes the lead as the Best European City of the Future for FDI

With an upward trajectory in recent years, 2023 consecrates Porto's strategy of promoting foreign direct investment with the Financial Times placing it at the top of the European Cities and Regions of the Future.

Porto takes the lead as the Best European City of the Future for FDI
Porto. · 17 Feb 2023
The announcement of the fDi Intelligence recognition was made this Thursday, during the event "When the change becomes the future", which brought together political and private decision-makers from the city's business ecosystem.

"Today we make history", said Ricardo Valente. However, for the councillor for Economy, Employment and Entrepreneurship, "more than the result, what is relevant is the process, which is the guarantee of its future sustainability".

And the process is the work that has been developed by InvestPorto, the municipal division specialized in attracting and facilitating direct investment projects, born from "a political vision that has investment as the cornerstone of the city's development strategy".

In 2022 alone, the municipality was able to attract around 608 million euros in direct investment to the city, more than double that of the previous year, boosting 3355 direct jobs. But the councillor also recalls the impact that attracting companies has on the rehabilitation of the city and on "increasing its visibility and international competitiveness".

In the Financial Times ranking, Porto leads in the category "FDI strategy - Large cities", ahead of cities such as Birmingham or Manchester (England), Glasgow (Scotland), Antwerp (Belgium), Katowice (Poland), Izmir or Adana (Turkey), Gothenburg (Sweden) and Bilbao (Spain).

The investment promotion strategies of 90 cities and regions were compared, considering criteria such as the profile and number of foreign investments attracted in the last 12 months, the fastest growing activity sectors and the results of local policies on talent attraction, energy resilience and sustainability.

"Porto is a city that moulds itself, tolerant to change and capable of fulfilling the wishes of those who wish to live, work or study here", underlines Ricardo Valente, adding how the recognition is demonstrative of "a city that ambitions, fulfils and is not afraid to compete".

Before reaching the top of the fDi Intelligence European Cities and Regions of the Future, Porto had already conquered the 8th position in 2018/19, the 5th in the 2020/21 edition and the 3rd place on the podium in the ranking presented by the Financial Times in the last edition, 2022/23.

The "fDi European Cities and Regions of the Future" awards ceremony will be held in Cannes, France, on 14 March, and will take place in parallel with MIPIM, one of the largest real estate investment fairs in Europe, where Porto will be present, together with the municipalities of Matosinhos and Vila Nova de Gaia, to present the Greater Porto initiative.

Attract to Porto, to the region and to the whole local economy

The event "When the change becomes the future" also included a round table where the Councillor for Economy, Employment and Entrepreneurship joined Attila Czimmer, from the international agency Kantar, and the director of Natixis Portugal, Etienne Huret, to discuss the "Economic Strategy Policy for the future of the city of Porto".

And for the future, Ricardo Valente hopes that Porto has "passed the message to the country that it needs to attract investment" and that the fight is not done alone, since InvestPorto has also attracted companies to neighbouring municipalities. "Porto fights for the economic interests of the city and the region," stresses the councillor, adding how the establishment of these companies also has an impact on the local economy.

For the companies, "talent is the key to everything", assures Etienne Huret, admitting how Porto was the right choice for investment. With more than two thousand people working for the company, Natixis Portugal recognises the relationship with universities, with whom they have also created specific courses for the financial area, as essential to the success built in Porto, in addition to the connectivity to other cities, the facility in foreign languages and "the willingness to learn".

In tune with the vital importance of the talent found in Porto, Kantar's director recognises how the city "offers good opportunities and a very competitive package for investors". "More companies will attract more talent", believes Attila Czimmer, who also underlined the "constant support" that the company has received from the municipality since it arrived in the city.