Você fala Português?


Sarah Caddy

If you can’t, chances are you’re missing out, was the message from OMFIF’s conference on the ‘Role of Portugal and the UK in Lusophone Economies’ (February 4th 2014, London).

Addressing a roundtable of business owners and potential investors looking to expand into Angola and Mozambique, João Alves, Partner at EY, listed the benefits enjoyed by Portugal as a result of its 500 years of common history with the rest of the Lusophone world. Reporting on the findings of his firm’s Attractiveness Survey 2014, which tracks 200+ investor perceptions, Mr. Alves detailed that:

  • 58% of interviewees believe Portugal will improve over the next three years (marking one of the strongest scores for a European country)
  • 95% of investors in Portugal today believe that they will still be doing so in five years’ time


And the reason that investors gave for these bullish views? That Portugal has such strong cultural and linguistic affinities with emerging markets.

With Angola and Mozambique both clocking in over 7% GDP growth, this interest is unsurprising. And despite the oil sector continuing to dominate – it currently accounts for 96% of Angolan exports, for example – the panellists and government representatives were unanimous in providing evidence of rapid sector diversification.  Agriculture and telecommunications were two of the most regularly cited, with government agencies like ANIP (@ANIP_US) providing incentives for many non-oil sector businesses.

The swathe of positivity did come with a dose of realism from international law firm Miranda – in Angola, the only real way for a foreign company to build a business is via a local partner. At least the attendees of the conference now have the contacts to do so.