"Portugal is central to the development of French companies in Europe, because Portugal is one of the countries with the highest growth rate, between 6 to 7% this year, and many companies want to develop in Portuguese-speaking markets, being a platform for the remaining Portuguese-speaking countries", explained Richard Gomes, director of Business France in Portugal and Spain, in statements to Lusa.

Business France is the equivalent of AICEP in Portugal, being an official body of the Gallic administration with around 70 offices around the world to promote French companies and investment in France.

The Business Forum, which is being held in the French Senate, in Paris, is an initiative of Business France as part of the Crusade Season between France and Portugal, which since February has brought the two countries closer together.

“Special relationship”

"There is a special relationship between France and Portugal and this is an opportunity to develop relations between the two countries, looking for complementarities whether in the environment, in technology, in relationships between people, and, in the Senate, it is important to show this connection to the territories that develop through the cooperation of our companies", said Louis-Jean de Nicolay, senator of the Sarthe region and president of the friendship group between France and Portugal in the Senate.

With France positioning itself as the second customer for goods in Portugal and the first customer in terms of services, French entrepreneurs are now looking for new opportunities, namely through the Recovery and Resilience Plan and investing in partnerships with national companies.

"French companies are not only looking for a distributor or a supplier in Portugal, they are looking for technological or financial partnerships and even in third countries, such as Brazil", explained Richard Gomes.