A brief analysis of how Portugal can offer prosperous conditions to welcome your Tech Centre and why you should choose it.
We will dive into why Portugal is rapidly becoming one of the most attractive places for IT companies looking to establish a tech centre.
In today’s fast-paced digital age, businesses are looking for new ways to stay ahead of the curve and meet the demands of the constantly evolving tech industry.
Why choose Portugal to establish your Tech Centre?
Portugal has been at the forefront of the expanding tech industry. This is a country with a thriving startup ecosystem and a multitude of highly skilled professionals, which provides a favourable business environment. Tech companies looking to expand their operations are seeking Portugal as a final destination.
The information technology industry in Portugal has been growing steadily over the past few years, following recent reports such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund showing the IT sector in Portugal as the main contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The prospects are that the industry will continue to thrive in the coming years as more and more companies start to acknowledge Portugal as a prosperous setting for IT outsourcing and offshore development and an excellent destination for setting up their tech centre.
Regarding the existing companies and technologies, Portugal holds a variety of local and international key players.
There is a growing development of innovative solutions in several areas with Portuguese startups and tech companies, such as Farfetch, Talkdesk and Feedzai, along with 7 other growing tech unicorns that the country already accounts for. Ultimately, a good support network of incubators and accelerators is what innovation and the entire ecosystem require growing, and Portugal fosters these characteristics.
Microsoft, Amazon, Google, BMW-Critical, Mercedes-Benz.io, and Amkor Technology are a few multinational companies that have established R&D centres in the country.
What tech areas is Portugal focusing on?
Portugal undoubtedly shows a vibrant technology industry focused on several areas, including:
Software development: One of the industries in which Portugal has grown is software development, with a particular focus on web and mobile development. OutSystems is, for instance, another Portuguese unicorn.
IT consulting: Portugal hosts countless IT consulting firms which offer a range of services to clients, including cloud computing, cybersecurity, and data analytics. Deloitte Digital, Oracle, and Wipro are the most popular country-based brands worth mentioning.
Fintech: With its expanding fintech sector, Portugal is home to companies focused on developing solutions for the industry of financial services. BNP Paribas, Anchorage, Saltpay and Natixis are some of the few examples.
Gaming: Mobile gaming and virtual reality are some of the branches held in a plurality of Portugal’s gaming studios. Miniclip or Fabamaq, Flutter Entertainment Group (Betfair, Pokerstars) fall under the same popularity scope.
Clean technology: Clean technology is a reality Portugal has been promoting, which has been reflected in the increased focus and interest in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable transportation by several companies in the country.
Artificial Intelligence: Portugal’s artificial intelligence community has expanded where companies and research institutions are focused on developing solutions in areas such as computer vision, natural language processing, and machine learning, such as Defined.ai (a company previously known as DefinedCrowd)
Blockchain: Portugal is becoming a hub for blockchain technology, hosting a multitude of companies whose focus is on solution development for several industries, including finance, logistics, and Supply Chain Management – one great example of this is Utrust.
When a business is deciding where to establish operations, having a robust talent pool is a key starting point. Portugal holds a number of highly-qualified resources in the IT sector while attracting further IT talented workforce coming from Europe, Brazil and other countries.
Portugal is known for having a solid education system, and technical education is no exception. The country has a plethora of reputable universities and technical institutes that offer courses in fields such as computer science, engineering, and mathematics. Portugal’s technical education system strongly emphasises theoretical and practical skills, which helps graduates be well-prepared for the working world.
Every year, the number of graduates in relevant fields is exponential, having many young professionals pursuing careers in technology and IT. According to Eurostat, in the European Union, Portugal holds the third-highest rate of Engineering graduates, where around 90,000 students graduate each year.
The country also offers various opportunities for continued professional development and training, which helps to keep its IT professionals updated on the latest technology trends and breakthroughs.
Furthermore, Portuguese IT professionals are known for their technical skills and fluency in English, making them highly attractive to multinational companies, where foreign companies find it easy to communicate and collaborate with local talent.
To better illustrate Portugal’s talent pool, there are around 92,000 developers in the country, according to LinkedIn. To access some of the most used programming languages worldwide, check this article.
Incentives can play a significant role in attracting businesses and entrepreneurs to a particular location.
The Portuguese government has been actively supporting the technology sector’s growth with initiatives to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. It has additionally been working to simplify the process of setting up a business in the country and has implemented measures to reduce bureaucratic barriers for companies operating in the tech sector, including a specific visa for tech professionals.
Portugal also offers several incentives to companies looking to establish an IT development hub. These include access to European Funds, tax benefits for R&D expenditure, and proactive support by public institutions. Furthermore, channels were created to raise capital and a favourable context to use stock options as an income-optimisation tool.
Location, cost of living and culture
Portugal has high living standards and clean air. More importantly, nowadays, this country has one of the highest safety indexes, with low crime rates and with social and political stability, being an ancient EU and NATO member.
Portugal’s favourable time zone, 5 hours ahead of New York and 3 hours behind Dubai, makes it an attractive destination when conducting business with different regions in the world.
Additionally, Portugal has excellent connections and access to other European cities, making it easy for IT professionals to commute and conduct business with other countries.
The cost of living and doing business in Portugal is relatively low compared to other European countries and many major cities worldwide. Portugal offers a cost-competitive location for companies looking to establish an IT hub, with a lower cost of living and lower wages than many other European countries. In addition, Portugal’s stable public health system has been attracting digital nomads and remote programmes, mainly from Europe and Brazil.
The result of the inflation in real estate, in recent years, especially in major cities like Lisbon and Porto, is due to the growing popularity of the country as a destination for expatriates. However, the cost remains relatively low compared to other major European cities, which can be especially attractive for companies looking to establish a European IT hub and wanting to keep costs down while still having access to a highly skilled talent pool.
Furthermore, Portugal is rich in history and cultural heritage, featuring a mesh of modern and historic architecture. It is famous for its stunning coastline, fresh seafood, hearty stews, delicious pastries, wine, and Port production, and it’s a destination targeted by food and wine connoisseurs. The mild and sunny climate, with the average temperatures in Portugal ranging from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius (low 59 to high 77 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout the year, makes Portugal an attractive location for IT companies and professionals seeking a better quality of life.
On top of that, Portugal is a very friendly and welcoming country, with a relaxed pace of life that makes it easy to adjust to and feel at home. The population has a high proficiency level in English, and if you’d like to learn more about English proficiency in Portugal and other European countries, please check our article or the EF English Proficiency Index 2022.
Choosing Portugal to build a tech centre gives companies access to a wide range of incentives, a talented and qualified workforce, and cultural and location factors that make it an advanced IT ecosystem with a growing number of successful businesses. The country has gained recognition as a top destination for tech companies ever since hosting the Web Summit in 2016. For companies looking to establish an IT development centre, Portugal is an expanding place that offers a favourable business environment paired with a thriving startup ecosystem and supportive government initiatives.