Portugal offers franchises EU access, reports Country Profile
The national coat of arms, an armillary sphere and Portuguese shield, are at the center of the flag. While explanations for the color meanings are ambiguous, a popular interpretation has green symbolizing hope and red the blood of those defending the nation.
Location: In southwestern Europe, Portugal shares borders with Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s slightly smaller than Virginia.
Total Population: 10.4 million
Government: Semi-presidential republic
Religion: Roman Catholic (81%); other Christian (3.3%) includes Jewish, Muslim. Unspecified (8.3%).
Economy: After successfully exiting its EU-IMF financial rescue package in 2014, Portugal’s economic recovery continues to gain traction. In 2017 it registered GDP growth of 2.7 percent, followed by 2.1 percent in 2018 as unemployment dropped to 6.8 percent. Structural reforms implemented since 2011 have created an economic and regulatory climate favorable to foreign investment, which remains a priority for the government. Aging infrastructure and underinvestment in public services, however, remains a challenge. The United States is Portugal’s largest trading partner outside the EU, and the U.S. Commercial Service notes demand for high-quality, price-competitive U.S. products in Portugal is strong.
News note: The Portuguese Ministry of Health launched the National Strategic Telehealth Plan in late 2019 with the aim of advancing telehealth, including telemonitoring, e-prescriptions and other digital healthcare tools across the country. The national strategy is the first of its kind and will also focus on improvements to infrastructure and the regulatory framework.
GDP (official exchange rate): $218 billion
Currency: Euro (conversion rate at press time: 1 EUR equals $1.10 USD).
Franchising in Portugal: While it’s among the smaller members of the European Union in terms of population size, Portugal’s improving economic climate makes it attractive to franchises, as does its large number of shopping malls. U.S. brands represent just 5 percent of the country’s franchise market, meaning ample room to grow. Local franchisors, meanwhile, represent 66 percent of total market share, followed by Spain with 18 percent. Several laws govern the operation of franchises within the EU, but they’re fairly broad. While it doesn’t have legal powers, the Portuguese Franchise Association has published a number of rules to alert franchisees to certain contractual pitfalls and cautions that should be taken into account when entering into a franchise agreement.
Ease of doing business rank by World Bank: 39.