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Located in the south-west of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is divided into 18 districts and 2 autonomous regions, covering an area of about 92,000 square kilometres with a population of about 10 million, among whom 95% are Portuguese and only 0.2% are Chinese immigrants. The capital of Portugal is Lisbon, the country’s most affluent area. Lisbon covers an area of 84.8 square kilometres and has a population of about 2.03 million.

Portugal has a stable political situation, a sound legal system, good public order and well-grounded infrastructure. Portugal is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, NATO and WTO. Since joining the Euro zone in 1999, the currency is the Euro. The Euro can be exchanged freely and used in the countries of the Euro zone, and there are no foreign exchange controls in Portugal. Enterprises and individuals are free to hold and sell foreign exchange. The government has no restrictions on the moving out of foreign exchange by enterprises or individuals.

Investment Environment
Portugal, as one of the EU member states, has sophisticated infrastructure and good public order, a higher level of education and the wage costs are relative low compared to other EU member states. After the European debt crisis, the Portuguese economy has gradually recovered, and Portugal officially withdrew from the EU financing programme in May 2014, showing the optimistic prospect of the Portuguese economy.
Portugal has a total labour force of 5.5 million and a total employment population of 4.5 million. The Portuguese Government has been encouraging foreign investors to invest in Portugal, there is no restriction on market access for foreign investment, foreign and domestic capital are entitled to the same treatment. Meanwhile, Portugal has not set specific obligations for foreign investment or capping for profits and dividends. Taxes that should be paid by foreign-invested enterprises mainly include: corporate income tax (IRC), value added tax (VAT) and personal revenue tax (IRS).
Economy and Trade
According to the Bureau of Statistics of Portugal, Portugal mainly exported to Spain, Germany, France, Angola and the United Kingdom, in the same period, the major countries Portugal imports from are Spain, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands.
According to Chinese customs statistics, the products exported from China to Portugal mainly include: electrical and mechanical products, steel, clothing and furniture, while the products imported by China from Portugal mainly include: automobiles and auto parts and accessories (except trains), electrical products, mineral products, stone, and pulp and paper. In recent years, the quantity of Portuguese wine and olive oil exported to China also increases considerably.

Annual Indicators

2015(a) 2016(b) 2017(c) 2018(c)
Area Sq Km 91.906 91.906 91.906 91.906
Population (m) 10.5 10.5 10.5 10.5
GDP (US$ bn) 199.2 204.8 200.3 208.7
Real GDP growth (%) 1.6 1.2 1.5 1.5
Exports of goods fob (US$ bn) 54.5 54.4 57.0 59.0
Imports of goods fob (US$ bn) -64.6 -63.9 -65.9 -69.7
Current Account Balance (US$ bn) 0.8 0.1 -0.5 -1.1
Exchange Rate Euro:US$ (av) 0.90 0.90(a) 0.95 0.94

(a)Actual (b) EIU estimates (c) EIU forecast

Major Exports (2015) % of total
Machinery & Transport equipment 25.9
Food, drinks & tobacco 11.2
Chemical & related products, n.e.s 8.8
Mineral fuels, lubricants & related materials 7.8
Others 46.3
Major Imports % of total
Machinery & Transport equipment 27.5
Chemical & related products, n.e.s 14.4
Mineral fuels, lubricants & related materials 13,2
Food, drinks & tobacco 13.2
Others 31.7

Mainland China-Portugal Bilateral Trade (USD 10,000)

Year Total Exports* Imports**
2014 480,036 313,707 166,329
2015 435,647 289,492 146,154

* China’s export value from Portugal
** China’s import value from Portugal

Macao SAR-Portugal Bilateral Trade (Mop)

Year Total Exports* Imports**
2015 279,079,140 817,819 278,261,321
2016 281,762,212 5,615,439 276,146,773

* MacaoSAR’s export value to Portugal
** MacaoSAR’s import value to Portugal


  • Guide for Countries and Regions on Overseas Investment and Co-operation – Portugal
  • Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Co-operation of Ministry of Commerce
  • Investment Promotion Agency of Ministry of Commerce
  • Economic and Commercial Counselor’s Office of the Embassy of China in Portugal
  • China Statistical Yearbook 2016
  • The Economic Intelligence Unit – Country Report
  • The Macau Statistics and Census Department