Besides the lovely weather and wonderful holidays, Portugal has a lot of business opportunities to offer. Opening up a new market is always a challenge even if you have a great product or service to sell. Familiarising yourself with the local culture will help you avoid any embarrassing situations and give you a quicker route to success.
Portugal is situated in South-Western Europe on the Iberian Peninsula.
The Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira are part of Portugal too. This country has about 10.5 millions inhabitants and is part of the Euro-Zone.
Why you should consider Portugal:
- Operational costs are very low compared to the rest of Western Europe.
- Portugal is one of the founding members of the European Monetary Union.
- The manufacturing and service sectors are both booming.
- There is highly competitive pricing over business premises.
- The crime rate is very low.
- There are high quality support services for investors, both during and after investment.
- Portugal is heavily investing in renewable energies.
- From Biotechnology to private healthcare, Portugal is rich in Life Science R&D.
- Your first correspondence should be written in Portuguese. English is not well spoken by the more mature population of Portugal; show your sincerity in wanting to do business with them!
- Be punctual – Waiting is common but arriving on time is a sign of respect and good intent.
- It is common to invite business contacts for lunch or dinner however it is rare to have breakfast meetings. Lunch usually starts at 1pm and dinner at 9pm.
- Culturally, the Portuguese people place importance on showing respect to age and social status.
- Written contracts are respected and followed.
- Direct criticisms are not welcome even if justified. Be tactful, for example: “This product is good but there is a better version…”.
- Be aware of high pressure sales tactics – in Portugal, you are selling to the people, not the business.
- Avoid displaying impatient behaviour as it can be perceived as offensive; this may threaten the duration and quality of co-operation in your business venture.
- If you need help in translating your business letters, website or emails please contact us.