Shared Services

Given its strategic location, Portugal is one of the most relevant nearshore centers in Europe. With the investment in skills and infrastructure paying off, Porto is increasing its appeal for internacional investors, especially in high value-added activities.

A relevant number of nearshore centres are based in Porto, acting as engineering, shared services and contact centres for global operations.

Either in developing multimedia applications, programming and systems engineering, developing e-government solutions and dematerialising processes or providing specialized technical support based on certified platforms, Porto has clear advantages as a strategic location for supporting models based on "follow-the-sun" methodologies.

Privileged Location and Time Zone to access Global Markets
Porto finds itself at the core of three continents: Europe, America and Africa.

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Porto benefits from a good logistics support network based on excellent road, sea and air infrastructure, which puts the city at the heart of major international routes.

The city is geographically located in a time zone with minimal deviation in relation to CET together with other countries such as the United Kingdom and Ireland, positioning Porto even closer to European markets, and on the right path to greater operational efficiency.
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Portuguese Multiculturalism and Language Skills
Portuguese is the 7th most ‘spoken’ language in the world, a factor that is especially relevant when penetrating Portuguese-speaking markets such as Brazil.

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Learning English or any other foreign language is mandatory since the early years in school. 

There are many private schools whose programmes are taught exclusively in a foreign language. This turns schools into excellent recruitment nurturing spots, as well as an interesting solution for those who arrive in the city with children. 

Every year, a growing number of students from all over the world choose the universities of Porto. More than 26,000 foreign students attend their higher courses in Porto's macro-region1. These are excellent assets for international companies that are based in Porto.

Portuguese people and culture are well known for the ability to adapt to other cultures, absorve knowledge and easily learn other languages.

1 Northern Portugal plus a part of the Center Region (comprising Aveiro, Coimbra and Viseu districts)

Sources: Direção-Geral de Estatísticas da Educação e Ciência.
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Strong Emphasis on Qualifying and Training Human Resources
When it comes to creating business process outsourcing units, shared services or contact centres, the qualified workforce in the Porto's macro-region1 is seen as a key advantage, especially in the fields of Economics, Accounting and Finance (over 2,000 graduates per year) and other business related areas ( over 3,800 graduates per year).

Northern Portugal plus a part of the Center Region (comprising Aveiro, Coimbra and Viseu districts)

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In the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM), the availability of human resources in Porto’s macro-region is particularly relevant - there are about 11,600 graduates per year.

Porto is also supported by a range of entities that ensure sufficient flexibility and capacity for training specialized human resources according to the needs of such higher added-value operations.


Sources: Direção-Geral de Estatísticas da Educação e Ciência.
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Competitive Costs
Porto is a highly competitive city when it comes to wages and real estate costs, compared to other major cities in Europe.

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Porto is also extremely flexible from the contractual point of view, as it eases the process of granting access to the use of space to the parties involved.

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Fully Digital Technology Infrastructure
The city of Porto benefits from the fact that Portugal was the first European country to invest in a fully digital telecommunications network with the adoption of optical fiber.

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As a consequence of the investment, next generation networks are well established both across the country and the Northern region, confirmed by the high rate of penetration of Internet services and broadband data, especially as regards business operations, and institutional support services are mostly available online.

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Available Financial Instruments
Companies in Portugal hiring unemployed people aged between 18 and 30 or long-term unemployed aged 31-45 can apply for grants which support 9-months internships and fixed-term/ permanent labor contracts.


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They may also be eligible for partial/total exemption from payment of Social Security Contributions [23.75%] during 5 years (first job seekers) or 3 years (long-term unemployed).

There are also attractive fiscal incentives for Expats in Portugal.

Software companies, engineering and contact centres, both in the form of Shared Services Centres or Centres of Excellence, or in the form of Business and Knowledge Process Outsourcing, may be eligible under the Portugal2020 programme. Contact InvestPorto to get a customised assessment for your project.
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