Bicycle manufacturers in Portugal are a prime example of this boom, with more than 60 bicycle manufacturers in the Porto region alone, primarily supplying quality bicycles to Germany and the Netherlands.
The trend is clear, and Portugal is well-positioned because more and more parts are returning to Europe. Bosch, for example, generates 2 billion euros in revenue annually in Portugal, employing 6,000 employees and planning to invest another 200 million euros in the country in the coming years.
The reasons for this are obvious. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, supply chains have broken down, leading to the emergence of a new movement of entrepreneurs called "Nearshoring". With this, an increasing number of companies in Europe have decided to relocate their production to Europe.
Portugal benefits from a young and tech-savvy workforce, and lower labour costs. Additionally, the majority of Portugal's energy supply is based on renewable energy sources. Portugal sources up to 80% of its electricity from renewable sources, making the country attractive due to high energy costs in Germany and other countries more dependent on fossil energy.
The German Institute for Economic Research (IW) released a study in 2022 based on the factors important for the location choice of industrial companies. Portugal received above-average ratings and evaluations in an international comparison, partly due to favourable energy costs but also due to low labour costs. Portugal also received good ratings in the areas of e-government, entrepreneurial freedoms, and the rule of law, which are especially important for IT companies.
IT companies like "Critical TechWorks," which emerged from a joint venture between BMW and a Portuguese IT company, are currently hiring about 400 new employees per year in Portugal.
The motto of these companies is easy to decipher: European companies prefer to develop their software in Europe rather than other international locations, and Portugal has built a strong foundation in recent years with its fibre-optic infrastructure, IT hubs, and financial incentives for this. In 2022 alone, the Web Summit in Lisbon attracted 70,000 specialized visitors from all over the world.
In recent years, Portugal has evolved as an investment destination and is now considered an important supplier for German companies, including VW, Daimler, Audi, Bosch, Grohe, Schaeffler, among others. This trend is also seen in the IT industry, with companies like the Rocket brothers, founders of Zalando, and many others. The motto is "Go West - Go Portugal," so "Made in Portugal", as seen in the examples above, is a strong trend for German investors and companies.
Paulo Lopes is a multi-talent Portuguese citizen who made his Master of Economics in Switzerland and studied law at Lusófona in Lisbon - CEO of Casaiberia in Lisbon and Algarve.