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Coined the “warm Berlin”, the capital Lisbon is attracting record levels of foreign investment in software and IT, with unicorns such as Feedzai, which uses AI to detect fraudulent payments, online luxury fashion platform Farfetch, coding software provider OutSystems and cloud-based contact center Talkdesk among those putting Portugal on the technology map.
Talent Pool & Education
Since the Portugal Tech Visa program was launched, thousands of foreign nationals have been granted a streamlined immigration process visa, with 93% working in the field of computer science, according to the Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation. Tech salaries increased significantly in 2022 but remain low by European standards. A recent survey found that 18% of professionals in the sector work remotely for a company based beyond the country’s borders.
Portuguese is the official language, but a third of the population speaks and understands English.
Robust public investment, boosted by EU funds, and the return of tourism exports are set to support Portugal’s recovery from a steep economic downturn triggered by the global pandemic. The country’s direct links to Russia and Ukraine are limited and inflationary pressures from surging food and energy prices are expected to ease over the coming year. A €32 million deep tech fund, dedicated to boosting ocean sustainability and climate action innovation, was launched in mid-2022 by Lisbon-based venture capital firm Faber, exceeding its initial target.
A snap election in early 2022, held during the country’s most severe wave of COVID-19 infections, led to a resounding victory by António Costa’s Socialist party, which was returned to power with an absolute majority. Political analyst Miguel Szymanski said the government had benefited from a very successful vaccination campaign. However, the far-right also made significant gains. “There seems to be simultaneously a desire for change and a fear to move away from the center.” Portugal ranks as the sixth-safest country in the 2022 Global Peace Index.