- The Portuguese are often described as very welcoming and friendly towards
- Portugal is a developed and stable democracy with a modern economy.
- Most barriers to U.S. exports are common to all EU member states. Some
quantitative import restrictions remain.
- There are many opportunities for export, including raw materials and technology
- High-growth sectors include automotive manufacturing, semiconductors, electronics,
plastics, food processing, and franchising services.
- Machinery and transport equipment
- Agricultural products
- Textiles and raw materials for textiles (including cotton)
- Computers and peripherals
- Telecommunications equipment
- Security equipment
- Automobile parts
- Medical equipment.
- Leather products
- High value processed food products
- Magazines, newspapers, TV, specialized trade directories, and even automatic
bank teller machines are good forms of advertising
- If possible, make use of international trade shows.
- For consumer goods, important selling factors are price, quality, brand
name and innovative features.
- The Açores and Madeira benefit from more liberal import regulations than
the rest of Portugal.
- Portuguese importers and distributors try to import U.S. products through
other EU countries in order to avoid value-added tax (which is collected at
the time of import on products from outside the EU).
- Give careful consideration to non-price aspects when negotiating a contract.
- Dress professionally. Even in the summer, wear a jacket and tie. Women
should be dressed conservatively, but fashionably.
- English and French are widely spoken by senior business executives.
- Trade literature should be in Portuguese.
- Other than shops, businesses do not open on Saturdays. On Sundays, all
businesses are closed.
- Doing business generally takes more time in Portugal, as compared to northern
Europe, because personal contacts are especially important.
- Many businessmen still consider a personal contact and a handshake stronger
than a contract, but they will not be offended if a formal contract is requested.
- Avoid addressing a business contact by their first name until a relationship
has been well established.
- Don’t try to speak to people using Spanish.
- Refrain from raising your voice.
- Avoid rushing through things.
- Mind your manners.
- Learn simple greetings in Portuguese.
- Inquire if your company will need to provide an interpreter.
- Observe religious holidays.
- Get to know your customers.
- The Portuguese legal system is slow and is the biggest single cause of
unresolved U.S. company trade complaints.
- European rules apply on documentation requested on imports.
- International rules on international transport of merchandise apply.
- Portuguese law is open to franchising, distributing, licensing or other