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Busines and Economy of Portugal

Portugal remains the least developed nation in Western Europe. A GDP of $236.5 billion was recorded in the year 2008– as compared to other west European economies. The annual growth rate and inflation rate recorded in the year 2008 was -0.1% and 2.6% respectively. Among Portugal’s prime industries is manufacturing and mining (chemicals, wood, glass and pottery etc) which employs 31% of the labour. Forestry is also important, Portugal being the world’s largest producer of cork to date. Agriculture accounts for only 4% of the GDP. It’s major trading partners include Germany, Spain, UK, USA, Italy and the Netherlands.

Portugal qualified for the European Monetary Union in 1998 and began circulating euro along with other 11 EU members in January 2002. Euro is now the country's official currency. Its economic growth has been above the EU average but fell back in 2001-2003. Government now needs to work on the country's poor education system which is responsible for its low productivity and growth.

Business Guide

Smart and formal is the tone of business. While English is the lingua franca, do check if you are visiting a small family concern in the interior. Business cards usually carried and exchanged by senior executives and directors. July and August is holiday season and business slows down as well – so reconsider a business trip in these months.

Office hours are 0900-1300 and 1500-1900 Monday to Friday.

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