The Portuguese tend to perceive American products as high quality but also expensive. U.S. firms should address price/quality competitive advantages when entering the Portuguese market.
The Portuguese market is more extensive than it may initially appear. While only 10.3 million people in Portugal, there are well over 250 million people who speak Portuguese worldwide. Former Portuguese colonies, including Macau, Mozambique, Angola, and Brazil, have close business ties with Portugal. While PM Costa said that Portugal is China’s gateway to the EU and the Lusophone countries, U.S. companies can often find avenues to these other markets through Portugal, and, indeed, the Portuguese Business Promotion Agency (AICEP) actively markets the country as a “gateway” economy into third markets, particularly in Lusophone Africa.
Portugal is an excellent entry point or test market for U.S. firms seeking to establish EU access. The country is politically stable, the crime rate is relatively low, the bilateral relationship is strong, English is widely spoken, and the population is highly educated and very friendly toward Americans. Both physical and IT Infrastructure are well developed, and the cost of doing business in Portugal is significantly lower than in other countries in Western Europe. Companies that have already penetrated one EU country will also have met most of the requirements for Portugal.