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30 October 2023

On October 10th, Team Sweden Portugal - the Embassy of Sweden in Portugal, Business Sweden, and the Swedish-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce - joined forces and presented the Business Climate Survey of 2023.

The launching seminar attracted both governmental and corporate stakeholders, which led to a nuanced discussion regarding the possibilities and challenges Swedish companies are facing in the Portuguese market. You can download the full report below. 

Sweden and Portugal have enjoyed a solid diplomatic and trade relationship since the 17th century. Portugal is an attractive destination for Swedish businesses seeking opportunities for growth and collaboration in a forward-thinking environment that prioritizes technological advancements, sustainability, and digital change. The business communities of the countries have become more integrated – thereby strengthening both their political ties and their trade relations. Today Portugal ranks among the top 30 export markets for Sweden, and more than 150 Swedish companies are active in the Portuguese market. 

To assess the performance of Swedish companies in Portugal and get an overview of the opportunities and challenges they face in the Portuguese market, Team Sweden has carried out a Business Climate Survey during spring 2023.

The purpose of the survey is to better understand the needs of Swedish companies in Portugal, provide better support and further develop bilateral trade relations. The first Business Climate Survey was carried out in 2019. In comparison to 2019, we can see that Swedish companies in Portugal in 2023 are:

  • More positive regarding the personal safety in Portugal. 
  • Less satisfied regarding corporate taxation.
  • Less forecasted to increase their investment in Portugal compared to 2019.
  • Still highly distressed by regulations and permits

From left: CEO QueensLab Portugal, Marcus Norquist, Country Manager Diaverum, Sofia Correia de Barros and Ingka Centres Expansion Manager, Carl Hermelin.

Forty companies responded to the survey, which was conducted in February-April of 2023. Some of the respondents were Ingka Centres, QueensLab, and Diaverum. These companies were later represented in the Corporate Panel Discussion in the launching seminar. The following was their view on the current business climate in Portugal and the Swedish brand. 

Portugal is an excellent geographic position for our supply chain setup. Portugal is also great at adapting to new companies, businesses, and newcomers. However, from a personal perspective based on my surroundings, I find the bureaucracy problematic.”

- Carl Hermelin, Expansion Mananger, Ingka Centres

We can relate to many of the findings in the report, especially regarding the labor market. We are here to pursue competence, not to enter the Portuguese market from a sales perspective. We can understand and have experienced the difficulties regarding raising the salaries due to the laws and taxation. However, we already see the results and the potential, therefore we are ready to keep on investing in Portugal.

On our journey, the Swedish brand has helped us, especially in terms of recruiting. People think that Swedish companies are honest and fair. However, this is nothing we can take for granted, due to the current circumstances in Sweden, people have questioned the safety of the nation.”

- Marcus Norqvist, CEO, QueensLab (QLP, Lda)

The bureaucracy is the key trade barrier when entering and expanding in the Portuguese market. The governmental and institutional procedures and processes are too unclear. Normally, you enter the Portuguese market because of the specialist and competence. Either the process to enter the market must be simplified and eventually, the competence stays in the country through raising wages, or the competence will continue to emigrate.

- Sofia Correia de Barros, Country Managing Director, Diaverum

We would like to extend our most sincere gratitude to the participating companies for the knowledge and insights that they have shared with us – for the benefit of us all.

Business climate survey event in collaboration with

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