HELM – PwC Economy of the Sea Barometer (Portugal)

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Continuing the social responsibility commitment that we assumed in 2010, we present our 9th edition of HELM – PwC Economy of the Sea Barometer which, this year, is dedicated to the importance of maritime geostrategy.

The Portuguese economy of the sea has shown, over time, great economic and social resilience, being able to grow above the average of the national economy during a period of great economic instability. If investment in the marine industries is strengthened, particularly in terms of external investment, the economy of the sea will be able to progress to higher levels of growth and economic development.

Compared with its terrestrial dimension, the maritime geographic dimension of Portugal is enormous. Its location in the North Atlantic, in the west of the European continent, as maritime neighbours of the American and the African continents, and with a history closely linked to the oceanic routes, particularly with the Asian continent, indicates that its geographical position has relevant strategic significance. In this context, we asked leaders of the Portuguese economy of the sea about whether foreign investors are sensitive to the geographical location of Portugal. We tried to find out, in general and in the opinion of the interviewees, the importance to investors from outside the country of Portugal’s geographic location and the fact that Portugal belongs to international organisations such as the European Union, the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries or NATO in their analysis for potential investments in the Portuguese economy of the sea.

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Most respondents consider that foreign investors attach great importance to Portugal’s geostrategic location. Moreover, by sector of activity, the ports and logistics sector is that in which most interviewees consider that external investors attach greatest importance to the geo-strategic positioning of Portugal.

From the survey, it may also be concluded that most of the economy of the sea leaders interviewed consider that there may be states that only seek to invest in the Portuguese economy of the sea for geo-strategic reasons, regardless of the economic rationale of the investment to be made. In this context, if on the one hand the location of Portugal has advantages in attracting foreign investment, on the other hand the acceptance of this investment needs to be carefully considered, on a case-by-case basis, to detect intentions that differ from normal commercial relations between economic agents.

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Miguel Marques

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