Cookies Policy

To provide you with a better experience, InvestPorto, in collaboration with a number of partners, uses cookies on this website, which allow the personalization of content and advertising that is shown to you.
By continuing to use our website without changing your settings, we assume that you accept the use of cookies. Change Settings

Accept selected cookies Accept all cookies
The urban heart of
North-Western Portugal
With a strong export sector, a mix of industry and services, and a thriving technology and innovation scene, Porto has become a key driver of Portugal's economy and an increasingly attractive destination for global companies.

A competitive economic region
Located along the coast of North-Western (NW) Portugal, the Porto metropolitan area has long been known as Portugal’s industrial powerhouse, with many of the country’s best industries based around its perimeter. At its core lies the bustling city of Porto, the urban heart of the region and a rapidly-growing business hub in Southern Europe.

The region* of NW Portugal is home to 4.3 million inhabitants of which around 1.8 million live in the Porto metro area. It is one of the most densely populated regions in the country, representing 42% of Portugal’s population, 42% of its workforce, and 36% of its gross domestic product despite comprising just 20% of the country’s territory.

Porto's economic shine: a nighttime satellite view
4.3 million population of Porto
and NW Portugal
Source: INE (2022)
€88.2 billion GDP of Porto
and NW Portugal
Source: INE (2022, nominal)
The regional economy comprises a balanced mix of industry and services, with a robust export sector, which has become a key driver of the Portuguese economy, accounting for 38% of the country’s total GDP growth between 2016 and 2022. NW Portugal is also the primary source of Portuguese products sold globally, representing 45% of the country’s exports of goods.

Porto and NW Portugal’s economic strength in figures

In recent years, Porto and NW Portugal have seen an economic revival, driven mainly by growth in tourism, foreign investment and entrepreneurship. Today, the region positions itself at the forefront of technology and innovation, hosting world-class companies, startups, universities and research centres, capable of delivering knowledge-intensive and high-tech solutions for clients around the world.

45% of Portuguese exports of goods are from
Porto and NW Portugal
Source: INE (2022)
42% of Portugal’s workforce lives in
Porto and NW Portugal
Source: INE (2021)
* NW Portugal is composed of the Porto Metro Area and the neighboring NUTS 3 regions of Alto Minho, Cávado, Ave, Tâmega e Sousa, Aveiro Region, Coimbra Region, and Viseu Dão Lafões.

A magnet for global investment
Porto has become a hotspot for foreign direct investment (FDI) in Southern Europe. FDI inflows to the region have increased significantly, with foreign companies investing more than 4 billion euros in FDI projects over the last 5 years, which led to the creation of more than 22,300 jobs.

International investors' confidence in Porto has proved to be resilient. The volume of investment by foreign companies remained strong during the pandemic, bouncing back quickly in 2021, with the new facility setups and expansions culminating in a record-breaking 1 billion euros of total investment in 2023.

Greenfield* FDI in the Porto Metro Area

There are more than 2,250 companies headquartered in the Porto Metro Area controlled by foreign owners.  The city has successfully attracted several technology and service centres of global companies such as Natixis, Euronext, Continental, Vestas, Kantar, TeamViewer, BNP Paribas, FedEx and Maersk, as well as international joint ventures, like the innovation centre of Critical Techworks, an IT joint venture between BMW and the Portuguese company Critical Software.

As a recognition of Porto’s international attractiveness, the Financial Times’ 2023 edition of the European Cities of the Future ranking classified Porto as Europe's best large city for FDI strategy, rising 7 places in the ranking since 2018-19. The city has received multiple awards, such as during Dubai’s Annual Investment Meeting 2020, when Porto was distinguished as the runner-up for the best FDI project in Europe and as the winner of the Smart City Innovator Award.

22,000+ jobs created by FDI projects
in the last 5 years
Source: Bureau van Dijk (2019-2023)
2,250+ foreign affiliates headquartered
in the Porto Metro Area
Source: Bureau van Dijk (2023)
Porto is attractive to invest in a variety of activities. The city's leading clusters include digital and IT services, business service centres, health and life sciences, and mobility, as well as a strong base of traditional sectors such as tourism and hospitality, real estate and construction, retail, culture and creative industries.

Top target industries of foreign direct investors*

Porto's ability to attract foreign companies is explained by the availability of highly skilled talent, the region’s cost competitiveness compared to its EU peers, the country’s stability, as well as Porto’s modern infrastructure and high quality of life. With the city’s investment in skills paying off, Porto has managed to increase its appeal to international investors, especially in highly qualified and innovative activities.

The city’s strategic time zone and easy access to the EU market have also made it a relevant nearshore location in Europe. Portugal's legal environment also facilitates international investment, with OECD considering it the 2nd country in the European Union with fewer restrictions on foreign investment. The country has no foreign capital entry restrictions and Portuguese law prohibits any discrimination between investments based on nationality.

These aspects, together with Porto’s unique heritage, community feel and business-oriented culture, make it a great place for people and companies developing creative solutions for today’s global challenges.

1st in Europe among large cities of the future for foreign investment Source: FT / fDi Intelligence (2023)
40% of jobs created by FDI projects are in IT & Business Services Source: Bureau van Dijk (2019-2023)
Got questions? Get answers and make better business decisions