Portugal

Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
Report
June 29, 2017

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Executive SummaryShare    

Portugal emerged from an extended economic crisis and successfully completed its European Union-IMF bailout program in 2014, registering moderate growth, and decreasing, though still high, unemployment in 2014-2016. The structural reforms implemented since 2011 have created an economic and regulatory climate that is favorable to foreign investment. Corporate taxes and unit labor costs have decreased, while new investment incentives have been established. The government has also taken important steps toward improving the efficiency of its judicial system, creating two specialized courts for intellectual property and competition and streamlining court districts and the Code of Civil Procedure.

Portugal’s economy is fully integrated into the European Union (EU). Fellow EU member states remain Portugal’s biggest trading partners and its largest investors. Portugal complies with EU law for equal treatment of foreign and domestic investors. Beyond Europe, Portugal maintains significant links with former colonies including Brazil, Angola, and Mozambique.

Portugal is one of 19 Eurozone members; the European Central Bank (ECB) acts as central bank for the euro (€) and determines monetary policy. Portugal’s banking sector has faced a number of challenges in recent years, including the costly central bank-led resolution of Banco Espirito Santo (succeeded by Novo Banco) in 2014 and Banif in 2015. Nonetheless, the sector’s future seems brighter as the biggest private banks are undergoing restructuring and recapitalizations. In 2016 Portugal’s second largest bank, Millennium BCP, increased its capital by €1.33 billion and fully repaid an outstanding €750 million owed to the government since 2012. In the same year, BPI, the country’s fourth largest bank was fully acquired by Spain’s Caixa Bank. With the sale of Novo Banco to Texas-based Lone Star Capital - anticipated to conclude by mid-2017 - and the recapitalization of state-owned Caixa Geral de Depositos – Portugal’s largest bank - the banking sector is on much sounder footing than in recent years.

On March 9, 2017, the Portuguese Finance Minister announced that the government intends to create a new supervisory institution for overseeing bank bailouts and ensuring the overall stability of the banking system. The envisioned entity would be independent, and be tasked with reinforcing coordination among the central bank (Bank of Portugal), the securities market regulator (CMVM) and the insurance and pension funds supervisor (ASF). Creation of the new body would require the approval of both the Portuguese Parliament and European authorities, following a public consultation period. It remains to be seen how this body would affect the existing authority of European-level supervisory bodies like the ECB.

The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, announced in February 2016, will replace the previous Safe Harbor framework for data transfers between the United States and member states of the EU. In addition, Portugal will be subject to new rules stipulated in the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation which the Directive enters into force on 5 May 2016 and EU Member States have to transpose it into their national law by 6 May 2018: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/reform/index_en.htm

As of 2013, between 10 and 20 percent of land in Portugal has no clear title. In 2016, the government approved a new measure stating that all land not registered within the next two years would be transferred to a State-managed “Land Bank” for a period of 15 years. If the land has not been claimed within that 15 year period, the land in question will revert to the State. To facilitate this process, the government has created the “Single Land Office” within the Land Registry Office. Further information on the registration process can be found at:

Following national legislative elections in November 2015, the center-left Socialist Party formed a minority government that got off to a somewhat shaky start as it sought to undo certain privatizations and public transport contracts. However, the government has since publicly promoted the importance of foreign investment and fostered both economic stability and growth, enabling Portugal to surpass EU growth predictions. In 2016, Portugal registered its lowest budget deficit since the restoration of democracy in 1974, and the country is expected to completely exit the EU’s Excessive Deficit Procedure in the first half of 2017.

Table 1

Measure

Year

Index/Rank

Website Address

TI Corruption Perceptions Index

2016

29 of 176

http://www.transparency.org/
research/cpi/overview

World Bank’s Doing Business Report “Ease of Doing Business”

2016

25 of 190

doingbusiness.org/rankings

Global Innovation Index

2016

30 of 128

https://www.globalinnovationindex.org/
analysis-indicator

U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions)

2015

$2,042

http://www.bea.gov/
international/factsheet/

World Bank GNI per capita

2015

$20,530

http://data.worldbank.org/
indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD

1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign InvestmentShare    

Policies towards Foreign Direct Investment

The Government of Portugal recognizes the value of foreign investment and sees such investment as an important engine of economic growth. Portuguese law is based on a principle of non-discrimination. Both foreign and domestic investors are subject to the same rules. Foreign investment is generally not subject to any special registration or notification to any authority, with exceptions for a few limited, specific activities.

The Portuguese Agency for Foreign Investment and Commerce (AICEP) is the lead agency for promotion of trade and investment. AICEP is responsible for the attraction of foreign direct investment (FDI), promotion of global Portuguese trademarks, and export of goods and services. It is the primary point of contact for investors with projects of more than €25 million or companies with a consolidated turnover of more than €75 million. For foreign investments not meeting these thresholds, AICEP will make a preliminary analysis and direct the investor to assistance agencies such as the Institute of Support to Small- and Medium- Sized Enterprises and Innovation (IAPMEI), a public agency within the Ministry of Economy that provides technical support, or to AICEP Capital Global, which offers technology transfer, incubator programs and venture capital support. AICEP does not favor specific sectors for investment promotion. It does, however, provide a “Prominent Clusters” guide on its website where it advocates investment in Portuguese companies by sector: http://www.portugalglobal.pt/EN/SourceFromPortugal/prominent-clusters/Pages/prominent-clusters.aspx

The Portuguese government maintains regular contact with investors through the Confederation of Portuguese Business (CIP), the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and AICEP. More information can be found at these websites:

http://cip.org.pt/en/
http://www.portugalglobal.pt/EN/Pages/Index.aspx
http://www.ccip.pt/en/

Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment

There are no legal restrictions in Portugal as to foreign investment. To establish a new business foreign investor must follow the same rules as domestic investors, including mandatory registration and compliance with regulatory obligations for specific activities. There are no nationality requirements and no limitations on the repatriation of profits or dividends.

Shareholders that are not resident in Portugal must obtain a Portuguese taxpayer number for tax purposes. EU residents may obtain this number directly with the tax administration (in person or by means of an appointed proxy); non-EU residents must appoint a Portuguese resident representative to handle matters with tax authorities.

There are limitations on both foreign and domestic investments with regard to certain economic activities. Portuguese government approval is required in the following strategic sectors: defense, water management, public telecommunications, railway, maritime transportation and air transport. Any economic activity that involves the exercise of public authority also requires government approval; private sector companies can operate in these areas only through a concession contract. Recent examples of SOE sales include the sales of flagship airline TAP to the Atlantic Gateway Consortium and the anticipated sale of Novo Banco to U.S. foreign investors.

Portugal additionally limits foreign investment with respect to the production, transmission, and distribution of electricity, the manufacturing of gas, the pipeline transportation of fuels, wholesale services of electricity, retailing services of electricity and non-bottled gas, and services incidental to electricity and natural gas distribution. Any concessions for electricity and gas sectors are assigned only to limited companies with their headquarters and effective management in Portugal.

Portugal limits foreign investment in the provision of executive search services, placement services of office support personnel, and publicly-funded social services.

Investors wishing to establish new credit institutions or finance companies, acquire a controlling interest in such financial firms, and/or establish a subsidiary must have authorization from the Bank of Portugal (for EU firms) or the Ministry of Finance (for non- EU firms). In both cases, the authorities carefully consider the proposed transaction, but in the case of non-EU firms, the Ministry of Finance especially considers the impact on the efficiency of the financial system and the internationalization of the economy. Non- EU insurance companies seeking to establish an agency in Portugal must post a special deposit and financial guarantee and must have been authorized for such activity by the Ministry of Finance for at least five years.

Other Investment Policy Reviews

Portugal has not undergone an OECD, WTO or UNCTAD Investment Policy Review in recent years.

Business Facilitation

Over the last decade, but especially since the start of the economic crisis in 2010, the Portuguese Government has prioritized policies to increase the country’s appeal as a destination for foreign investment. Taxation procedures have been simplified, effective warehouse and transport logistics have been developed (especially at the Sines Port terminal southwest of Lisbon), and telecommunications infrastructure has been improved. In 2007, the Government established AICEP – a promotion agency for investment and foreign trade.

The “Golden Visa” program that gives fast-track residence permits to foreign investors complying with specific pre-established conditions was established in 2013. To date, 3,207 out of 4,202 total residency permits have been issued to Chinese nationals.

Other measures implemented to help attract foreign investment include the easing of some labor regulations to increase workplace flexibility and the creation of a special EU-funded program, Portugal 2020, for large projects (above €25 million). Finally, to combat the perception of a cumbersome regulatory climate, the Government has created a “Cutting Red Tape” website detailing measures taken since 2005 to reduce bureaucracy, and the Empresa na Hora (“Business in an Hour”) program that facilitates company incorporation in less than 60 minutes.

Both Portuguese citizens and non-citizens can register a business in person at any of the government’s 214 “Empresa na Hora” registration locations. More information is available at: http://www.empresanahora.pt/ENH/sections/EN_homepage and at: http://www.cuttingredtape.mj.pt/uk/asp/default.asp.

Portuguese citizens can alternately register online through the “Citizen’s Portal” available at: https://bde.portaldocidadao.pt/evo/landingpage.aspx. Companies must also register with the Directorate General for Economic Activity (DGAE), the Tax Authority (AT), and with the Social Security administration. The online registration process can take as little as one to two days.

In line with the EU, Portugal defines an enterprise as micro-, small-, and medium-sized based on its headcount, annual turnover, or the size of its balance sheet. To qualify as a micro-enterprise, a company must have less than 10 employees and no more than €2 million in revenues or €2 million in assets. Small enterprises must have less than 50 employees and no more than €10 million in revenues or €10 million in assets. Medium-sized enterprises must have less than 250 employees and no more than €50 million in revenues or €43 million in assets. The SME Support Institute (IAPMEI) offers financing, training, and other services for SMEs based in Portugal: http://www.iapmei.pt/

More information on laws, procedures, registration requirements, and investment incentives for foreign investors in Portugal is available here, at AICEP’s website: http://www.portugalglobal.pt/EN/InvestInPortugal/investorsguide2/howtosetupacompany/Paginas/ForeignInvestment.aspx

Outward Investment

Portuguese government does not restrict domestic investors from investing abroad. To the contrary, it promotes and incentivizes outward investment through AICEP, whose main tasks are to promote the internationalization of Portuguese companies, support their export activity, and attract investment, with the larger goal of creating value for our country. Through its Customer Managers, Export Stores and its External Commercial Network - which, in cooperation with the diplomatic and consular network, is present in about 80 markets - AICEP provides support and advisory services on the best way of approaching foreign markets, identifying international business opportunities of Portuguese companies, particularly SMEs.

- See more at: http://www.portugalglobal.pt/PT/sobre-nos/Paginas/sobre-nos.aspx#sthash.aifdjkOs.dpuf

2. Bilateral Investment Agreements and Taxation TreatiesShare    

Portugal shares no investment agreement with the United States. With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009, the European Commission assumed exclusive competence to negotiate trade and investment agreements for all EU members, and launched the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations with the United States in 2013.

Portugal has investment agreements with over 100 economies, including: Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Germany, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, India, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Macao, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Zimbabwe. For a complete list of investment agreements currently in force, please see the UNCTAD Navigator: http://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/IIA/CountryBits/169#iiaInnerMenu

Portugal signed an Income Tax Treaty with the United States in 1994 to prevent double taxation and tax evasion. In 2015, Portugal signed an agreement with the United States to improve international tax compliance and implement the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). See more at: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/international-businesses/portugal-tax-treaty-documents and https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/tax-policy/treaties/Pages/FATCA.aspx

3. Legal RegimeShare    

Transparency of the Regulatory System

The Government of Portugal employs transparent policies and effective laws to foster competition and establish clear rules of the game. The legal system is quite welcoming with respect to FDI. Regulations are drafted by ministries or other regulatory agencies. Drafts must be approved by Parliament, and, in some cases, by European authorities. All proposed regulations are subject to a public consultation period during which the proposed measure is published on the relevant ministry or regulator’s website.

Typically, the consultation period is 30 days (or 20 days in urgent cases). Only after ministries or regulatory agencies have conducted an impact assessment of the proposed (not yet adopted) regulation, the text can be enacted and published at: www.parlamento.pt.

Ministries or regulatory agencies report on the results of the consultations on proposed regulations through a consolidated response published on the website of the relevant ministry or regulator.

There are no informal regulatory processes managed by nongovernmental organizations or private sector associations; all procedures are managed by government entities.

Rule-making and regulatory authorities exist within several sectors including the Energy, Telecommunications, Securities Markets, Financial and Health sectors. Regulations are enforced on the local level through District Courts, on the national level through the Court of Auditors and at the supra-national level through European Union mechanisms including the European Court of Justice, the European Commission, and the European Central Bank.

The legal, regulatory, and accounting systems are transparent and consistent with international norms. Since 2005, all listed companies have been required to comply with International Financial Reporting Standards as adopted by the European Union ("IFRS"). The IFRS closely parallels the U.S. GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). See more at: http://ec.europa.eu/finance/company-reporting/standards-interpretations/index_en.htm#related-information.

Parliament publishes draft bills on its website, http://www.en.parlamento.pt and at http://www.portugal.gov.pt/pt/pm/documentos.aspx, allowing for public review of proposals before they are voted on and become law. UTAO, the Parliamentary Technical Budget Support Unit, is a nonpartisan body composed of economic and legal experts that supports parliamentary budget deliberations by providing the Budget Committee with quality analytical reports on the executive’s budget proposal(s). More information on UTAO can be found here: https://www.parlamento.pt/OrcamentoEstado/Paginas/UTAO_UnidadeTecnicadeApoioOrcamental.aspx. In addition, the Portuguese Public Finance Council conducts an independent assessment of the consistency, compliance with stated objectives, and sustainability of public finances, while promoting fiscal transparency, and publishes all of its assessments online at: http://www.cfp.pt/?lang=en.

The government regularly publishes key regulatory actions here: http://www.en.parlamento.pt/. The OECD, EC and IMF also publish key regulatory actions and/or summaries thereof at: https://www.oecd.org/portugal/, https://ec.europa.eu/info/business-economy-euro/economic-performance-and-forecasts/economic-performance-country_en and http://www.imf.org/external/country/PRT/index.htm.

Portugal’s Competition Authority enforces adherence to domestic competition and public procurement rules. The European Commission further ensures adhesion to EU administrative processes among its member states.

The European Commission has highlighted Portugal’s progress in addressing recommendations made by the EC itself since the beginning of the 2011 financial bailout program.

According to an IMF review published in October 2014, Portugal’s fiscal practices meet most principles of transparency at good or advanced levels. Fiscal reporting is consistent with EU standards, and forecasting and budgeting have improved significantly since the beginning of the bailout program in June 2011. The government publishes budget proposals and execution reports online, and created a user-friendly web application to explain the 2016 budget, available here: http://online.dgo.pt/DadosCidadao/Orcamento_CG.Entrada.aspx.

On March 9, 2017, the Portuguese Finance Minister announced that the government intends to create a new supervisory institution for overseeing bank bailouts and ensuring the overall stability of the banking system. The proposal comes after a series of high-profile bank collapses and bailouts in recent years, including that of Portugal's largest private sector bank Banco Espirito Santo (BES) in 2014 and Madeira-based Banif in 2015. The envisioned entity would be independent, and be tasked with reinforcing coordination among the central bank (Bank of Portugal), the securities market regulator (CMVM) and the insurance and pension funds supervisor (ASF). Creation of the new body would require the approval of both the Portuguese Parliament and European authorities, following a public consultation period. It remains to be seen how this body would affect the existing authority of European-level supervisory bodies like the ECB.

The Portuguese Public Finance Council conducts regular, independent assessments of the consistency, compliance with the stated objectives and the sustainability of public finances, while promoting fiscal transparency. All assessments are published online at: http://www.cfp.pt/?lang=en.

International Regulatory Considerations

Portugal has been a member of the EU since 1986, a member of the Schengen area since 1995, and joined the Eurozone in 1999. Portugal complies with EU directives regarding equal treatment of foreign and domestic investors. Portugal has been a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 1995. With the Treaty of Lisbon’s entry into force in 2009, trade policy and rules on foreign direct investment became exclusive EU competencies, as part of the block’s common commercial policy.

The European Central Bank (ECB) is the central bank for the euro (€) and determines monetary policy for the 19 Eurozone member states, including Portugal. Portugal has incorporated U.S. FACTA regulations, into its banking system.

Legal System and Judicial Independence

The Portuguese legal system is a civil law system, based on Roman law. The hierarchy among various sources of law is as follows: (i) Constitutional laws and amendments; (ii) the rules and principles of general or common international law and international agreements; (iii) ordinary laws enacted by the Parliament; (iv) instruments having an effect equivalent to that of laws, including approved international conventions or decisions of the Constitutional Court; (v) regulations used to supplement and implement laws.

The country’s Commercial Company Law and Civil Code define Portugal’s legal treatment of corporations and contracts. Portugal has specialized family courts, labor courts, commercial courts, maritime courts, intellectual property courts, and competition courts.

The judicial system is independent of the executive branch. Indeed, adverse Constitutional Court rulings during the country’s bailout period served as a check on the government’s ability to implement many austerity measures, including pension cuts and tax increases.

Regulations or enforcement actions are appealable, and are adjudicated in national Appellate Courts, with the possibility to appeal to the European Court of Justice.

Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment

The Bank of Portugal (Portugal’s central bank) defines FDI as “an act or contract that obtains or increases enduring economic links with an existing Portuguese institution or one to be formed.” A non-resident who invests in at least 10 percent of a resident company’s equity and participates in the company’s decision-making is considered a foreign direct investor.

The Portuguese legal system is based on non-discrimination with regard to the national origin of investment, and foreigners are permitted to invest in all economic sectors open to private enterprise. However, there are limitations on both foreign and domestic investments with regard to certain economic activities. Portuguese government approval is required in the following sectors: defense, water management, public telecommunications operators, railway, maritime transportation and air transport. Any economic activity that involves the exercise of public authority also requires government approval. Private sector companies can operate in these areas only through a concession contract.

Investors wishing to establish new credit institutions or finance companies, acquire a controlling interest in such financial firms, and/or establish a subsidiary must have authorization from the Bank of Portugal (for EU firms) or the Ministry of Finance (for non- EU firms). In both cases, the authorities carefully consider the proposed transaction, but in the case of non-EU firms, the Ministry of Finance especially considers the impact on the efficiency of the financial system and the internationalization of the economy. Non- EU insurance companies seeking to establish an agency in Portugal must post a special deposit and financial guarantee and must have been authorized for such activity by the Ministry of Finance for at least five years.

Post is not aware of any new laws over the last 12 months that regulate FDI, or significant decisions that have changed how foreign investors or their investments are treated. Current information on laws, procedures, registration requirements, and investment incentives for foreign investors in Portugal is available here, at AICEP’s website: http://www.portugalglobal.pt/EN/InvestInPortugal/investorsguide2/howtosetupacompany/Paginas/ForeignInvestment.aspx

Competition and Anti-Trust Laws

The domestic agency which reviews transactions for competition-related concerns is the Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade de Concorrência) and the international agency is the European Commission's Directorate General for Competition (DG Comp). Post has no knowledge of significant competition cases with implications for foreign investors or investments being introduced or decided upon during the past year.

The Competition Authority’s mandate derives from Law No. 19/2012 (dated May 8, 2012) which superseded Law No. 18/2003. It specifically prohibits collusion between companies to fix prices, limit supplies, share markets or sources of supply, discriminate in transactions, or force unrelated obligations on other parties. Similar prohibitions apply to any company or group with a dominant market position. The law also requires prior government notification of mergers or acquisitions that would give a company more than 30 percent market share in a sector, or mergers or acquisitions among entities that had total sales in excess of €150 million in the preceding financial year. The Competition Authority has 60 days to determine if the merger or acquisition can proceed. The European Commission may claim authority on cross-border competition issues or those involving entities large enough to have a significant EU market share.

Expropriation and Compensation

Under Portugal’s Expropriation Code, the government may expropriate property and its associated rights if it is deemed to support the public interest, and upon payment of prompt, adequate, and effective compensation. The code outlines criteria for calculating fair compensation based on market values. The decision to expropriate as well as the fairness of compensation can be challenged in national courts.

In 2005, the Portuguese Parliament passed a Water Resources Law that required owners of properties bordering coasts, rivers, and reservoirs to present evidence of private ownership dating to at least 1864 by a deadline of January 2014, or otherwise face government seizure of the land. The law elicited public protests from property owners, including many British expatriates, which in turn pressed Parliament in May 2014 to establish broad exemptions and eliminate the deadline for presentation of evidence of ownership. To date, there have been no public cases of expropriation of such properties.

There have been no other cases of expropriation of foreign assets or companies in Portugal in recent history.

Dispute Settlement

ICSID Convention and New York Convention

Portugal has been a member of the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID Convention - also known as the Washington Convention) since 1965. Portugal has been a party to the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards since January 1995. Portugal’s national arbitration law No. 63-2011, of December 14, 2011 enforces awards under the 1958 New York Convention and the ICSID Convention.

Investor-State Dispute Settlement

Portugal ratified the 1927 Geneva Convention on the Execution of Foreign Arbitral Awards, and in 2002 ratified the 1975 Inter-American Convention on International Commercial Arbitration.

Portugal’s Voluntary Arbitration Law enacted in 2011 is based on the UNCITRAL Model Law, and applies to all arbitration proceedings based in Portugal. The leading commercial arbitration institution is the Arbitration Centre of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry: http://www.centrodearbitragem.pt/index.php?lang=en

The government promotes non-judicial dispute resolution through the Ministry of Justice’s Office for Alternative Dispute Resolution (GRAL), including conciliation, mediation, or arbitration. More information is available in English at AICEP’s website: http://www.portugalglobal.pt/EN/InvestInPortugal/investorsguide2/howtosetupacompany/Paginas/DisputeResolution.aspx

The GRAL website, in Portuguese, is here: http://www.dgpj.mj.pt/sections/gral

Portugal has no bilateral investment or free trade agreements containing ISDS provisions with the United States.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) “investment navigator” database and the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) database show no cases of investment disputes, pending or concluded, between foreign investors and Portugal.

Portuguese courts recognize and enforce foreign arbitral awards issued against the government.

There have been no recent extrajudicial actions against foreign investors.

International Commercial Arbitration and Foreign Courts

Arbitration is the preferred alternative dispute resolution mechanism in Portugal. The country has a long-standing tradition of and success in utilizing arbitration in administrative and contract disputes. In recent years, it has also become the standard mechanism for resolving tax disputes between private citizens or companies and tax authorities, as well as in pharmaceutical patent disputes.

There are four domestic arbitration bodies within the country/economy: 1) The Arbitration Center of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CAC); 2) CONCÓRDIA (Centro de Conciliacao, Mediacao, de Conflictos de Arbritragem); 3) Arbitrare (Centro de Arbitragem para a Propriedade Industrial, Nomes de Dominio, Firmas e Denominacoes); and 4) the Instituto de Arbitragem Commercial do Porto.

Each arbitration body has its own regulations, but all of them comply with the Portuguese Arbitration Law 63/11, which came into force in March 2012. The Arbitration Council of the Centre for Commercial Arbitration also follows New York Convention, Washington Convention and Panamá Convention guidelines.

Arbitration Law 63/11 follows the standard established by the UNCITRAL Model Law, but is not an exact copy of that text.

Under the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic (CPR), the Civil Code of Procedure (CCP) and the New York Convention (applied in Portugal since 1995), awards rendered in a foreign country must be recognized (i.e., an exequatur is obtained) by the Portuguese courts before they can be enforced in Portugal. There is no legal authority in Portugal on the enforceability of foreign awards set aside at the seat of the arbitration.

The Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) sets forth the legal regime applicable to all judicial procedures related to arbitration, including appointment of arbitrators, determination of arbitrators' fees, challenge of arbitrators, appeal (where admissible), setting aside, enforcement (and opposition to enforcement) and recognition of foreign arbitral awards.

While Portugal’s judicial system has historically been considered inefficient, the country has taken several important steps to increase the efficiency and quality of judicial proceedings in recent years. According to the World Bank’s 2016 Doing Business Index, enforcing a contract in Portugal takes an average of 547 days (the OECD average is 553 days), and costs 13.8 percent of the value of the claim (OECD average 21.3 percent).

According to Portuguese Ombudsman, only six complaints involving SOEs were registered in 2015; no numbers have been disclosed for 2016. Post is unaware of any judicial disputes involving SOEs, or any complaints of discrimination. Further information can be found at: http://www.provedor-jus.pt/?idl=2.

Bankruptcy Regulations

Portugal’s Insolvency and Corporate Recovery Code defines insolvency as a debtor’s inability to meet his commitments as they fall due. Corporations are also considered insolvent when their liabilities clearly exceed their assets. A debtor, creditor, or any person responsible for the debtor’s liabilities can initiate insolvency proceedings in a commercial court.

The court assumes the key role of ensuring compliance with legal rules governing insolvency proceedings, with particular responsibility for ruling on the legality of insolvency and payment plans approved by creditors.

After declaration of insolvency, creditors may submit their claims to the court-appointed insolvency administrator for a specific term set for this purpose, typically up to 30 days. Creditors must submit details regarding the amount, maturity, guarantees, and nature of their claims. Claims are ranked as follows: (i) claims over the insolvent’s estate, i.e. court fees related to insolvency proceedings; (ii) secured claims; (iii) privileged claims; (iv) common, unsecured claims; (v) subordinated claims, including those of shareholders.

Portugal ranks highly (8th of 190 countries) in the World Bank’s Doing Business Index “Resolving Insolvency” measure.

4. Industrial PoliciesShare    

Investment Incentives

The Portuguese government offers investment incentives which can be tailored to individual investors’ needs and capital based on industry, investment size, and project sustainability. For example, for smaller investors, 20 percent of investments up to a maximum of €5 million may be deducted from future tax obligations. More information on investment incentives is available at: http://www.portugalglobal.pt/EN/InvestInPortugal/Documents/Incentives%20Overview%20in%20Portugal%20%202015.pdf.

The Autonomous Regions of Madeira and the Azores also offer investment incentives. For example, profits derived from offshore operations by licensed industrial, shipping, international services, and financial companies established in the International Business Centre of Madeira (a foreign trade zone) are subject to the reduced corporate tax rate of 5 percent. For more information on the International Business Centre of Madeira’s corporate tax regime, please visit http://www.ibc-madeira.com/.

Since Portugal is an EU Member State, potential investors may be able to access European aid programs, which provide further incentives to investing in Portugal. Portugal received €2.6 billion in EU funds for 2015. These funds have been used by Portugal to co-finance key investments in the areas of research and development, information and communications technology, transport, water, solid waste, energy efficiency and renewable energy, urban regeneration, health, education, and culture. For more information, visit: http://www.qren.pt or http://www.incentivos.qren.pt and http://ec.europa.eu/budget/mycountry/PT/index_en.cfm#cinfo.

Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports/Trade Facilitation

Portugal has one foreign trade zone (FTZ)/free port in the Autonomous Region of Madeira, established in 1987. Continued operation of this foreign trade zone/free port has been authorized in accordance with EU rules on incentives granted to member states. Industrial and commercial activities, international service activities, trust and trust management companies, and offshore financial branches are all eligible. Companies established in the foreign trade zone enjoy import- and export-related benefits, financial incentives, tax incentives for investors, and tax incentives for companies.

Under the terms of Portugal's agreements with the EU, companies incorporated in the Madeira FTZ can take advantage of a reduced corporate tax rate of 5 percent until 2020.

Performance and Data Localization Requirements

Portugal does not impose performance requirements or mandate local employment conditions for foreign investors. Qualification standards for investment incentives are applied uniformly to both domestic and foreign investors.

As a member of the EU, there is a high level of labor mobility between Portugal and other member states. To work in Portugal, non-EU foreign nationals must be sponsored for a work permit by a Portuguese employer.

There are no nationality-related restrictions that affect a foreign national’s ability to serve in senior management or on a board of directors. Foreign or expatriate workers with appropriate work authorizations are entitled to the same rights and subject to the same duties as employees with Portuguese citizenship.

While Portugal does not force data localization, according to the Portuguese Data Protection Law (pursuant to the EU’s 1995 Data Protection Directive) “data controllers,” i.e., people or corporations that process personal data, must register in Portuguese with the national Data Protection Authority (CNPD). Data transfers outside of the EU are only allowed if the recipient country or company ensures an adequate level of protection.

The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, announced in February 2016, will replace the previous Safe Harbor framework for data transfers between the United States and member states of the EU. In addition, Portugal will be subject to new rules stipulated in the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation which the Directive enters into force on 5 May 2016 and EU Member States have to transpose it into their national law by 6 May 2018: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/reform/index_en.htm

There are no requirements for foreign IT providers to turn over source code and/or provide access to encryption; the same rules apply to foreign IT providers as apply to national providers.

Data transfers to other countries within the EU do not require prior authorization from the National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD). Data transfers to countries outside the EU can only take place in compliance with the Data Protection Law, meaning the receiving state must also provide an adequate level of protection to personal data.

If the receiving state does not ensure an adequate level of protection, the CNPD can authorize the transfer under specific conditions, namely: if the data’s subject has given clear consent to the proposed transfer; if the transfer is necessary for the performance of a contract between the data subject and the controller; if the implementation of pre-contractual measures is taken in response to the data subject's request; if necessary for the performance or conclusion of a contract between the controller and a third party that is concluded, or to be concluded, in the data subject's interests; if necessary or legally required on important public interests grounds, or to establish, exercise or defend legal claims; if necessary to protect the data subject's vital interests; and if made from a register that is intended to provide information to the public and is open to consultation, either by the public or by any other person who can demonstrate a legitimate interest, provided the conditions laid down in law for consultation are fulfilled.

In addition, the CNPD can authorize a transfer or a set of transfers of personal data to a receiving state that does not provide an adequate level of protection. This can only be achieved if the controller provides adequate safeguards to protect the privacy and fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals. This can be through appropriate contractual clauses or if a transfer to the United States, through adherence to the U.S.-EU Privacy Shield principles.

The CNPD is responsible for overseeing all enforcement of local data storage rules.

5. Protection of Property RightsShare    

Real Property

Portugal reliably enforces property rights and interests. The Portuguese Constitution provides for the right to private property and grants Parliament the power to establish rules on the renting of property, the determination of property in the public domain, and the rules of land management and urban planning. The Civil Code of 1967, modelled after the Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, provides for the right to absolute and full ownership, which can be restricted by mortgage, liens, or other security interests. Apart from the Civil Code, additional laws have established or modified rules on time-sharing, condominiums, and land registration.

Property registration is fairly easy in Portugal, and can be done quickly online (https://www.predialonline.pt/PredialOnline/). According to the World Bank’s 2015 Doing Business Index, registration is faster and simpler than in most other OECD countries, taking one day to complete the process. The cost, however, is slightly higher than the OECD average (4.2 percent) at 7.3 percent of the property value.

Foreign investors can directly own/purchase property freehold or leasehold, to build industrial and commercial premises or can purchase through a real estate company.

As of 2013, between 10 and 20 percent of land in Portugal has no clear title. In 2016, the government approved a new measure stating that all land not registered within the next two years would be transferred to a State-managed “Land Bank” for a period of 15 years. If the land has not been claimed within that 15 year period, the land in question will revert to the State. To facilitate this process, the government has created the “Single Land Office” within the Land Registry Office. Further information on the registration process can be found at: http://www.irn.mj.pt/sections/irn/a_registral/registo-predial and http://www.irn.mj.pt/IRN/sections/irn/a_registral/registo-predial/docs-predial/faq-s-de-registo-predial/.

If legally purchased property is unoccupied, Portuguese law allows ownership to revert to other owners (such as squatters), as set out in Chapter VI of the Portuguese Civil Code (CCP), Article 1287. If legally purchased property is left unoccupied, ownership may revert to others, assuming certain registration and time conditions are met. For detailed information, please consult: www.stj.pt/ficheiros/fpstjptlp/portugal_codigocivil.pdf

Intellectual Property Rights

IPR infringement and theft are not common in Portugal. It is fairly easy for investors to register copyrights, industrial property, patents, and designs with Portugal’s Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) and the Inspectorate-General of Cultural Activities (IGAC). Intellectual property can be registered online for a small fee.

The Portuguese government adopted the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 2003. Portuguese legislation for the protection of intellectual property rights has been consistent with WTO rules and EU directives since 2004. The Arbitration Centre for Industrial Property, Domain Names, and Company Names (ARBITRARE) was established in 2009 to facilitate voluntary arbitration of intellectual property disputes in English or Portuguese, and in 2012, the government created an intellectual property court with two judges.

During last year, no new IP related laws or regulations have been enacted. See more at: http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/profile.jsp?code=pt.

Portugal is a participant in the eMAGE and eMARKS projects, which provide multilingual access to databases of trademarks and industrial designs. Portugal’s Food and Economic Security Authority (ASAE), in partnership with other national law enforcement agencies, provides statistics on seizures of counterfeit goods at: http://anti-contrafaccao.com/en/statistics/

Portugal is not listed in USTR’s Special 301 report, nor is it listed in the notorious market report.

6. Financial SectorShare    

Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment

The Government of Portugal recognizes the value of foreign investment and sees such investment as an important engine of economic growth. The Portuguese Agency for Foreign Investment and Commerce (AICEP) is the lead agency for promotion of trade and investment.

The Portuguese stock exchange is managed by Euronext Lisbon, part of the NYSE Euronext Group, which allows a listed company access to a global and diversified pool of investors. The Portuguese Stock Index-20 (PSI20), launched in 1993, is Portugal’s benchmark index representing the largest (only 18, not 20, in 2016) and most liquid companies listed on the exchange. The Portuguese stock exchange offers members a diverse product portfolio: shares, funds, exchange traded funds, bonds, and structured products, including warrants and futures. Various market segments and solutions were developed to meet the different characteristics of issuers and products. Euronext Lisbon members trade all cash market products listed on the markets of Euronext Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels. There is sufficient liquidity for sizeable entry and exit positions; in March 2017, the Euronext Lisbon reached a volume of transactions of €2.3 billion. By comparison, the PSI 20 member Bank Millennium BCP trades around 3 million stocks per day.

The Portuguese Securities Market Commission (CMVM) supervises and regulates securities markets, and is a member of the Committee of European Securities Regulators and the International Organization of Securities Commissions.

Portugal respects IMF Article VIII by refraining from restrictions on payments and transfers for current international transactions. Credit is allocated on market terms, and foreign investors are eligible for local market financing. Private sector companies have access to a variety of credit instruments, including bonds.

Money and Banking System

Thirty-five banks and 15 credit institutions are registered with the Bank of Portugal and the penetration rate of banking services is high. Online banking has become increasingly popular, with 29 percent of individuals reporting use of online banking in 2016.

Total bank assets stood at €404.9 billion in June 2016, representing a steady decrease from €413 billion in 2015 and €430 billion in 2014. Portugal’s largest bank by assets, Caixa Geral de Depositos (CGD), is state-owned and at the end of 2016 had assets worth €93.5 billion.

In 2014, Spain’s BBVA announced its intent to exit the Portuguese banking sector, but this has not yet happened. In 2015 Spain’s Bankinter purchased Barclay’s Portugal retail banking business for €100 million following the latter’s decision to leave the European retail banking market. Deutsche Bank is also considering putting its Portuguese operations up for sale.

In the third quarter of 2016, the Portuguese banking system’s Tier 1 Capital ratio and Common Equity Tier 1 (CET 1) ratio stood at 7.5 percent and 12.3 percent, respectively. According to the European Banking Authority (EBA), Portuguese banks had a 19.82 percent NPL ratio in the third quarter of 2016 and the coverage ratio was 41.78 percent. In a February 2016 post-bailout program monitoring report, the IMF warned that the Portuguese banking system’s balance sheets needed “to be strengthened to avoid further negative surprise and protect taxpayers.” The report also noted banks need to further reduce their debt burden, which was “holding back the economy’s growth potential.” The government has taken steps to address problems in the banking sector, facilitating the recapitalization or restructuring of four of the five largest banks in 2016 and 2017.

Foreign banks are allowed to establish operations in Portugal. In terms of decision-making policy, a general ‘four-eyes policy’ is required to be implemented by all banks and branches operating in the country, irrespective of whether they qualify as international subsidiaries of foreign banks or local banks. Branches operating in Portugal are required to have such decision-making powers that enable them to operate in the country, but this requirement generally does not prevent them from having internal control and rules governing risk exposure and decision-making processes, as customary in international financial groups.

There are limitations on both foreign and domestic investments with regard to certain economic activities as any economic activity that involves the exercise of public authority requires government approval. Private sector companies can operate in these areas only through a concession contract. Investors wishing to establish new credit institutions or finance companies, acquire a controlling interest in such financial firms, and/or establish a subsidiary must have authorization from the Bank of Portugal (for EU firms) or the Ministry of Finance (for non- EU firms). In both cases, the authorities carefully consider the proposed transaction, but in the case of non-EU firms, the Ministry of Finance especially considers the impact on the efficiency of the financial system and the promotion of exports. Non- EU insurance companies seeking to establish an agency in Portugal must post a special deposit and financial guarantee and must receive authorization for such activity by the Ministry of Finance for at least five years.

No restrictions exist on a foreigner’s ability to establish a bank account and both residents and non-residents may hold bank accounts in any currency. However, any transfers of €10,000 or more must be declared declare to Portuguese customs authorities. See more at: https://www.bportugal.pt/.

Foreign Exchange and Remittances

Foreign Exchange

Portugal does not have exchange controls and there are no restrictions on the import or export of capital. Funds associated with any form of investment can be freely converted into any world currency.

Portugal is a member of the European Monetary Union (Eurozone) and uses the euro, a floating exchange rate currency controlled by the European Central Bank (ECB). The Bank of Portugal is the country’s central bank; the Governor of the Bank of Portugal participates on the board of the ECB.

Remittance Policies

There are no limitations on the repatriation of profits or dividends. There are no time limitations on remittances.

Sovereign Wealth Funds

The Ministry of Labor, Solidarity, and Social Security manages Portugal’s Social Security Financial Stabilization Fund (FEFSS), with total assets of around €13.5 billion. This is not technically a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) and does not subscribe to the voluntary code of good practices known as the Santiago Principles, or participate in the IMF-hosted International Working Group on SWF’s.

Among other restrictions, the law requires that at least 50 percent of assets are invested in Portuguese public debt, and limits FEFSS investment in equity instruments to that of EU or OECD members. FEFSS acts as a passive investor and does not take an active role in the management of portfolio companies.

7. State-Owned EnterprisesShare    

There are currently 44 state-owned enterprises (SOEs) operating in Portugal. Fifteen of these are wholly-owned SOEs, primarily in the banking, health care, transportation, and media and entertainment sectors. In the first semester of 2016, total assets were €14.6 billion, total net income of SOEs was €46.4 million and 663,798 people were employed by these companies. When SOEs are wholly-owned, the board is appointed by the government, although when SOEs are majority-owned the board of executives and non-executives nomination depends on the negotiations between government and the remaining shareholders, and in some cases on negotiations with European Authorities as well.

Portugal’s only SOE with revenues greater than one percent of GDP is the Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD). CGD has the largest market share in customer deposits, commercial loans, mortgages, and many other banking services in the Portuguese market.

Parpublica is a government holding company for several smaller enterprises that audits and reports on smaller SOEs; information on these can be found at: http://www.parpublica.pt/index.php/informacao/informacao-financeira/relatorio-e-contas

The activities and accounts of Parpublica are fully disclosed in budget documents and audited annual reports. In addition, the Ministry of Finance publishes an annual report on SOEs, presenting annual performance data by company and sector, through a specialized monitoring unit (UTAM): http://www.utam.pt/.

According to Law No. 133/2013, SOEs must compete under the same terms and conditions as private enterprises, subject to Portuguese and EU competition laws. Still, SOEs often receive preferential financing terms from private banks.

Even before entering the bailout program, the OECD’s 2011 SOE Governance Reform lauded Portugal as “one of the most active jurisdictions” in introducing new legislation and guidelines for SOE governance. In March 2008, Portugal’s Council of Ministers approved resolution no. 49/2007 which defined the Principles of Good Governance for SOEs according to OECD guidelines. The resolution requires SOEs to have a governance model that ensures the segregation of executive management and supervisory roles, to have their accounts audited by independent entities, to observe the same standards as those for companies publicly listed on stock markets, and to establish an ethics code for employees, customers, suppliers, and the public. The resolution also requires the Ministry of Finance’s Directorate-General of the Treasury and Finances to publish annual reports on SOEs’ compliance with the Principles of Good Governance.

Credit and equity analysts generally tend to criticize SOEs’ over-indebtedness and inefficiency, rather than any poor governance and ties to government.

Privatization Program

Portugal launched an aggressive privatization program in 2011 as part of its EU-IMF bailout, including state-owned enterprises in the air transportation, land transportation, energy, communications, and insurance sectors. Foreign companies have been among the most successful bidders in these privatizations since the beginning of the program.

The bidding process has been public, transparent, and non-discriminatory to foreign investors. Chinese, Omani, and French companies have purchased large stakes in Portugal’s electricity utility (EDP), its electricity and natural gas grid operator (REN), its airport operator (ANA), and the insurance arm of the state-owned bank (Caixa Seguros). In addition, Portugal’s postal service (CTT) sold 70 percent of its shares to public investors on the Lisbon stock exchange in 2013.

8. Responsible Business ConductShare    

There is strong awareness of responsible business conduct in Portugal and broad acceptance of the need to consider the community among the key stakeholders of any company. The Group of Reflection and Support for Business Citizenship (GRACE) was founded in 2000 by a group of companies, primarily multinational corporations, to expand the role of the Portuguese business community in social development.

The Ministry of Economy and AICEP encourage foreign and local enterprises to observe the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and both agencies jointly comprise the National Contact Point (NCP) for the promotion of these guidelines or facilitation of resolving disputes which may arise regarding the Guidelines. For contact information:

http://www.portugalglobal.pt/PT/Internacionalizar/GuiadoExportador/OutrosAspectosRelevantes/Paginas/outros-aspetos-relevantes.aspx

The Portuguese Business Ethics Association (APEE) is dedicated to promoting corporate social responsibility and works in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy’s Directorate-General of Economic Activities. It promotes events like Social Responsibility Week and celebrates protocols and agreements with companies to assure they follow RBC principles incorporated into the Labor Code through Law 99/2003 and Law 35/2004. For more, please see: http://www.apee.pt/normalizacao/normalizacao-nacional

Portugal’s Competition Authority both encourages and enforces competition rules, including ethical business practices. The Competition Authority operates a leniency program for companies that self-identify lapses. For more information, see http://www.concorrencia.pt/vEN/Praticas_Proibidas/Leniency_Programme/Pages/Leniency-Programme.aspx

There have not been any high-profile, controversial instances of private sector impact on human rights. The Portuguese government enforces domestic laws effectively and fairly through the domestic courts system, and through the supra-national European Court of Human Rights. Within its constitution, Portugal states that constitutional precepts concerning fundamental rights must be interpreted and completed in harmony with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Portuguese legal and regulatory framework on corporate governance includes not only regulations and recommendations from the Portuguese Securities Market Commission (CMVM), but also specific legal provisions from the Portuguese Companies Code and the Portuguese Securities Code. CMVM promotes sound corporate governance for listed companies by setting out a group of recommendations and regulations on the standards of corporate governance. CMVM regulations are binding for listed companies.

Non-governmental organizations also promote awareness of environmental and good governance issues in business. These include Quercus Portugal, which publishes guidelines and organizes events to promote environmental responsibility in business practices, and Transparencia e Integridade Associacao Civica (TIAC), which produces reports on corruption on everything from football match-fixing to conflicts of interest in public and private enterprise. TIAC also allows whistle-blowers to anonymously submit reports of corruption through their website.

Portugal does not participate in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), or the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. On April 3, 2017 the Council of the European Union approved a new EU regulation on conflict minerals. The regulation imposes due diligence rules on companies importing tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold into the EU. It will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the EU Official Journal, with a transition period for compliance before entering full effect on January 1, 2021.

9. CorruptionShare    

Portugal has made recent legislative strides toward further criminalizing corruption. The government’s Council for the Prevention of Corruption, formed in 2008, is an independent administrative body that works closely with the Court of Auditors to prevent corruption in public and private organizations that use public funds. Transparencia e Integridade Associacao Civica, the local affiliate of Transparency International, also actively publishes reports on corruption and supports would-be whistleblowers in Portugal. In 2010, the country adopted a law that criminalized violation of urban planning rules and increased transparency in political party funding. In 2015, Parliament unanimously approved a revision to existing anti-corruption laws that extended the statute of limitations for the crime of trading in influence to 15 years and criminalized embezzlement by employees of state-owned enterprises with a prison term of up to eight years.

Still, according to a 2016 report by the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), Portugal’s anti-corruption legal framework is “fragmented, sometimes incoherent, and has not always been sufficiently thought through…Above all, there is very little focus on corruption prevention [emphasis in original].” The report highlights a conflicts of interest regime that is “too permissive” to Parliamentarians, allowing them to simultaneously practice as lawyers and engage in other private employment. GRECO also noted a lack of accountability for judges and prosecutors due to the concealing of the outcomes of internal disciplinary procedures. The full report is available at: http://www.coe.int/en/web/greco/evaluations/portugal

The European Commission raised similar issues in its 2014 Anti-Corruption Report on Portugal, and also noted an extremely prevalent perception of corruption among the Portuguese populace. According to a 2013 survey, 90 percent of Portuguese respondents stated that “corruption is a widespread problem in their country” (vs. an EU average of 76 percent), while 36 percent of Portuguese respondents said that they “are personally affected by corruption in their daily life” (vs. an EU average of 26 percent). The report is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/organized-crime-and-human-trafficking/corruption/anti-corruption-report/docs/2014_acr_portugal_chapter_en.pdf

The laws extend to family members of officials and to political parties.

Portugal has laws and regulations to counter conflict-of-interest in awarding contracts or government procurement. See more at: http://www.portugal.gov.pt/pt/o-governo/referenda.aspx.

The Portuguese government encourages (and in some cases requires) private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that, among other things, prohibit bribery of public officials. See more at: http://www.portugal.gov.pt/pt/o-governo/referenda.aspx.

Most private companies use internal controls, ethics, and compliance programs to detect and prevent bribery of government officials. As described above, the Competition Authority operates a leniency program for companies that self-identify infringements of competition rules, including ethical lapses.

Portugal has ratified and complies with both the UN Convention against Corruption and the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

Portuguese government provides pro-bono legal services to NGOs involved in investigating corruption.

U.S. firms occasionally report encountering limited degrees of corruption in the course of doing business in Portugal; they do not identify corruption as an obstacle to foreign direct investment.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency responsible for combating corruption:
Jose Tavares
Director General, Council for the Prevention of Corruption
Avenida da Republica, 65

1050-189, Lisbon, Portugal
+351 21 794 5138
cp-corrupcao@tcontas.pt

Contact at “watchdog” organization:
Luis de Sousa
President, Transparency International – Transparencia e Integridade Associacao Civica
Rua Leopoldo de Almeida, 9B,

1750-137, Lisbon, Portugal
+351 21 752 2075
secretariado@transparencia.pt

10. Political and Security EnvironmentShare    

Since the 1974 Carnation Revolution, Portugal has had a long history of peaceful social protest.

Portugal experienced its largest political rally since its revolution in response to proposed budgetary measures in 2012. Subsequent demonstrations against government austerity measures and economic policies have resulted in isolated and low levels of vandalism, generally directed at parliamentary facilities. Public workers, including nurses, doctors, teachers, aviation professionals, and public transportation workers have organized peaceful demonstrations periodically in protest of salary cuts and other austerity measures throughout 2016.

11. Labor Policies and PracticesShare    

Numerous labor reform packages aimed at improving the productivity of Portugal’s workforce have been implemented in recent years, but overall low labor productivity and difficulty in firing workers remain significant issues. Unemployment remains high at 11.1 percent in 2016, but has improved steadily since peaking at nearly 18 percent in 2013. Youth unemployment is stubbornly high at 28 percent.

Nonetheless, as economic recovery has picked up, certain sectors are facing labor shortages, including the tourism, information technology, and engineering fields. In 2016, the non-agricultural workforce was around 93 percent employment, the skilled labor force was around 52 percent (secondary, post-secondary education and higher education) and unskilled labor force around 48 percent (in which only 1.7 percent represent the population with no level of education).

In 2015, 105,500 foreign workers were legally employed in Portugal. Foreign workers, particularly Asian migrants, generally work in the commercial and service sectors and, on the whole, are self-employed; Africans, most of whom are salaried employees or wage earners, tend to hold low-skilled jobs in the industrial sector (which includes cleaning services, in the case of women, and construction work, in the case of men). EU and American citizens, by and large tend to hold highly-qualified jobs (skilled professions, directors and administrative staff) or engage in entrepreneurial activities. This group is also correlated with agricultural workers, which are dependent on the number of European citizens (e.g. Dutch, English and French expats) who come to Portugal to enjoy their retirement, investing in large properties destined for agricultural exploration.

The Health, tourism, information technology (IT) and engineering sectors currently have the largest shortages of skilled labor. More information can be found at: https://www.iefp.pt/.

Employers are allowed to conduct collective dismissals linked to adverse market or economic conditions, or due to technological advancement, but must provide advance notice and severance pay. Depending on the seniority of each employee, an employer must provide between 15 to 75 days of advance notice, and pay severance ranging from 12 days’ to one month’s salary per year worked. Employees may challenge termination decisions before a Labor Court.

Labor laws are uniformly applicable and enforced, including in Portugal’s foreign trade zone/free port in the Autonomous Region of Madeira.

Collective bargaining is common in Portugal’s banking, insurance, and public administration sectors. In 2016, 4,172 Portuguese were fired within collective bargaining agreements. More information is available at: http://www.dgert.msess.pt/.

Portugal has labor dispute resolution mechanisms in place through Labor Courts and Arbitration Centers.

Labor strikes are more common than in the United States, but are nonviolent and of short duration. In recent years, work stoppages by public sector workers, including transportation workers, teachers, and nurses, as well as by unionized groups including taxi drivers and longshoremen have occurred.

Portugal is a member of the International Labor Organization (ILO), and has ratified all eight Fundamental Conventions as well as all four Governance (Priority) Conventions.

The Labor Code caps the work schedule at eight hours per day, and 40 hours per week. Public sector employees’ work week, with certain exclusions, was capped at 35 hours in July 2016. In January 2017, Portugal’s minimum wage was increased from €530 to €557 per month. Employees are entitled to at least 22 days of annual leave per year. In addition, the employer must pay employees a Christmas bonus and vacation bonus, both equivalent to one month’s salary.

In 2016, new rules on access to early retirement were amended. Applicants must now be at least 60 years of age and have at least 40 years of employment and social security contributions to qualify. For individuals between the ages of 55 and 60 who applied for early retirement prior to the passage of the aforementioned statue, they must have had 30 years of documented social security contributions to qualify.

12. OPIC and Other Investment Insurance ProgramsShare    

Portugal is a country with low political risk; there is no OPIC program in Portugal.

13. Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Portfolio Investment StatisticsShare    

Table 2: Key Macroeconomic Data, U.S. FDI in Host Country/Economy

 

Portuguese National Statistics Agency

USG or International Statistical Source

USG or International Source of Data:
BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other

Economic Data

Year

Amount

Year

Amount

 

Host Country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ($M USD)

2015

€179,540

2015

$ 198.923

www.worldbank.org/en/country

https://www.ine.pt/xportal/xmain?xpid=INE&xpgid=ine_indicadores&ind
OcorrCod=0008836&contexto=bd&selTab=tab2
*

Foreign Direct Investment

Host Country Statistical Source*

USG or International Statistical Source

USG or International Source of Data:
BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other

U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions)

2015

€1,742

2015

$2,042

http://www.bea.gov/international/
factsheet/factsheet.cfm?Area=321
;*

https://www.bportugal.pt/PAS/sem/src/
(S(qgu332qxe1l2ix55ucopfm55))/selecAnalise.aspx?
Token=2A67ED0C-3C6F-439C-B024-39C585F8FCFF

Host country’s FDI in the United States ($M USD, stock positions)

2015

€1,225

2015

$937

http://www.bea.gov/international
/factsheet/factsheet.cfm?Area=321
;*

https://www.bportugal.pt/PAS/sem/src/
(S(qgu332qxe1l2ix55ucopfm55))/selecAnalise.aspx?
Token=2A67ED0C-3C6F-439C-B024-39C585F8FCFF

Total inbound stock of FDI as % host GDP

2015

0.97%

2015

1.03%

Portugal’s National Statistics Agency

* National Statistics Agency, Bank of Portugal, AICEP. Figures only provided in local currency.


Table 3: Sources and Destination of FDI

EU member states, namely the Netherlands and Spain, remain Portugal’s primary sources of inward and outward direct investment. IMF figures coincide with data from the Bank of Portugal and Portugal’s National Statistics Agency.

Direct Investment from/in Counterpart Economy Data

From Top Five Sources/To Top Five Destinations (US Dollars, Millions)

Inward Direct Investment

Outward Direct Investment

Total Inward

114,831

100%

Total Outward

59,551

100%

Netherlands

27,676

24%

Netherlands

23,091

39%

Spain

25,990

23%

Spain

10,374

17%

Luxemburg

22,641

20%

Angola

4,755

8%

United Kingdom

8,402

7%

Brazil

3,159

5%

France

5,709

5%

Luxemburg

2,890

5%

"0" reflects amounts rounded to +/- USD 500,000.


Table 4: Sources of Portfolio Investment

IMF figures coincide with data from the Bank of Portugal and Portugal’s National Statistics Agency.

Portfolio Investment Assets

Top Five Partners (Millions, US Dollars)

Total

Equity Securities

Total Debt Securities

All Countries

129,510

100%

All Countries

35,751

100%

All Countries

93,759

100%

Spain

19,246

15%

Luxembourg

14,429

40%

Italy

16,559

18%

Luxemburg

17,327

13%

Spain

4,065

11%

Spain

15,181

16%

Italy

16,660

13%

United States

3,157

9%

Germany

14,198

15%

Germany

15,602

12%

Ireland

2,704

8%

Netherlands

9,701

10%

France

11,064

9%

France

2,192

6%

France

8,873

9%

14. Contact for More InformationShare    

Ben Rockwell
Economic Unit Chief
Embassy of the United States
Avenida das Forcas Armadas
1649-044 Lisbon, Portugal
+351 21-770-2000
RockwellBA@state.gov