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Major investors in Porto are sure of an economy with sustainable impact

If the results of investing in a consistent strategy to attract large companies were already visible, they have now been proven. The conclusions of a study on Porto Leading Investors, the program that brings together companies and investors that have contributed to the city's economy, show it to be "a powerful lever for economic and social development" in the country. There are 26,000 jobs created, 222 million euros invested in Porto in four years and a future that is still growing. Talent. Technology. Tolerance. In the view of the Councillor for the Economy, Employment and Entrepreneurship, these are the major factors in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) to the Porto region.

Major investors in Porto are sure of an economy with sustainable impact
22 Apr 2024

"We know the factors that determine the success of FDI attraction policies and it's essential that we are all clearly aligned so that they have the capacity to be sustained and leveraged as a strategy for economic and social development in the country," stressed Ricardo Valente, at the presentation of the Porto Leading Investors impact study on Thursday morning at the Soares dos Reis National Museum.

Assuming the political, economic, legal, technological, but also social and cultural factors that characterize Porto and the region, the councillor sees the results of the study as "significant in terms of added value creation, investment in research and development, a reduced ecological footprint, a strong export orientation and the creation of qualified jobs".

However, he adds, "it is essential to recognize that there are challenges to be faced".

In Ricardo Valente's words, the economic, social and environmental impact of Porto Leading Investors can be amplified in two distinct but complementary ways: "by supporting the consolidation and expansion strategies of the companies already included in the program and by attracting new companies through the promotion of a dynamic and competitive business ecosystem".

It will be the "strategies to offer a high quality of life, a challenging innovation environment, and the creation of mobility and housing conditions" that will make this ambition a reality.

2,073 million euros of impact on national production and 26,000 jobs created

Considering the direct, indirect and induced impacts of the activity, the study reveals that, in four years, the 43 companies that make up Porto Leading Investors have invested 222 million euros. In 2022 alone, where the data is reported, the impact on national production was 2,073 million euros and 1,166 million on Gross Value Added (1% of the national total), which translates into 15 euros generated for every euro invested.

In terms of tax revenue, the impact is 209 million euros, and the impact on household income is 715 million. In terms of employment, there will be 25,731 new jobs.

It is also important to note that 65% of the suppliers of these companies are national, that 88% of the activities carried out are in the area of innovation and that 44% of these investors offer products or services with a direct positive environmental impact.

When compared to the national average, the group of companies outperforms in several parameters: in labor productivity (4% more), in the intensity of value creation (23 percentage points more) and in innovation activities (40 percentage points more).

Beyond economic values, the study also shows a "clear commitment to ecological values", with the products and services developed by 44% of Porto Leading Investors having a significant positive environmental impact.

In addition, 79% of the companies carry out social actions in the community and half use social criteria when selecting their suppliers.

For the future, the group of companies currently included expects to grow by 14%/year until 2026, in terms of the number of jobs created.

"We have the talent and technology to rival the international ecosystem."

The presentation of the study's results was also the opportunity for a round table discussion on Porto's attractiveness in terms of FDI. Pedro Sousa Rodrigues acknowledged that the city "has managed, in recent years, to present itself well abroad", highlighting the strength of the "Porto" brand and that the main factors that bring investors to the city are talent and quality of life. Despite the "negative external shock", with the decrease in international investment, the advisor to AICEP's board of directors stresses that "Porto continues to be in interesting demand".

Maria Moura Oliveira highlighted the fact that "16% of the companies that make up Porto Leading Investors have come through UPTEC", which is confirmation that "we have talent and technology capable of rivaling the international ecosystem".

For his part, João Maia, director-general of the Portuguese Association of Footwear, Components, Leather Goods and Related Industries, recalled that the footwear sector "was one of the first to attract foreign investment", which helped its development, and that "some of these investors are still here and reinvesting".