Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal


Portugal’s state export investment promotion body is expected to raise as much this year as it did before the COVID-19 pandemic, as a recovery attracts investors back into the economy, the agency’s head said.

The amount raised with the help of the body, AICEP, dropped to just 287 million euros last year from 1.17 billion euros in 2019, as industrial projects were postponed.


But AICEP chief Luis Castro Henriques told a news conference: “We are back to normality and 2021 will be a strong year. We are attracting industrial and service projects in segments with high added value and innovation.”


“This year, the total investments will reach about the same amounts as 2018 and 2019, which were record highs. We will be comfortably above 1 billion euros,” he said. Investments contracted so far this year already exceed the total for 2020.


AICEP provides incentives, including tax breaks and loans from EU funds, to investors in export-oriented businesses considered strategic by the government, such as automaking, machinery, aeronautics and software.


Investments come mainly from Europe, led by Germany and France, but also from countries further afield such as Brazil and the United States.


Overall foreign direct investment in Portugal, which also includes financial flows and real estate, fell 68% to 2.94 billion euros in 2020, Bank of Portugal data shows.