There’s more investment (and jobs) in Porto. Here’s why.

  • ECO News
  • 22 July 2019

Porto is becoming even more attractive. There is increasing investment, particularly from abroad, which in turn brings more job opportunities into the region.

Porto is becoming even more attractive. There is increasing investment, particularly from abroad, which in turn brings more job opportunities into the region. Last year and thanks to foreign investment, thousands of new jobs were created up North, according to an EY-Parthenon report. Part of those jobs is skilled, the majority in tech companies such as Natixis and Critical TechWorks.

France (46%) and Germany (13%) were the countries that invested the most in this region of the country, according to a report named “Porto and Northern Portugal: a magnet for Investment – Portugal Regional Attractiveness Survey 2019”.

This study, developed by EY-Parthenon in a partnership with InvestPorto resorting to EY European Investment Monitor’s data, shows how “the region positions itself among the first places of direct investment intentions in the country”, Hermano Rodrigues, EY-Parthenon’s Principal, explains. This investment, the report estimates, brought with it 2.754 new jobs.

Among those successful examples, Natixis and Critical TechWorks count with hundreds of new employees, confiding ECO their wish to keep hiring more.

Critical TechWork – a partnership between BMW and Critical Software -, based in Porto since September 2018, has hired more than 350 people from the region. Paulo Guedes, CFO, assured ECO that one of the company’s goal is to employ 600 people by December. Rui Cordeiro, the CEO, revealed the company is also aiming to reach “1000 employees by 2021”, bringing onboard more software engineers, cybersecurity experts, mobile app developers, data engineers and data scientists.

Natixis, for instance, is the international department of the second large banking group of France as it employed 500 people just in its Porto’s IT Excellence Centre, aiming to expand the team to 600 by the end of this year. It is looking for profiles focused on areas such as development, business analysis, business intelligence, software control management and IT security.

Very professional people. And a business-friendly environment.

What does the North, namely Porto, offer that is so special for these companies? Quality of life, qualified human resources and reduced labour costs are among the explanations told by Critical TechWorks and Natixis to ECO.

Paulo Guedes, Critical’s CFO, said that in the north of Portugal there is a lot of “available talent”, highlighting the huge amount of “highly-qualified professional” there. And also confides ECO that city’s environment is “business-friendly”.

Nathalie Risacher, Natixis Portugal’s Senior Manager, shares the same opinion of Paulo Guedes. According to her, “Porto has unique characteristics that we consider being beneficial to our internationalisation processes: an innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem, a dynamic labour market as well as excellent infrastructure with avant-garde installations that provide our workers with the best work conditions”.

Indeed, these are some of the arguments that keep bringing investment to the region and the city of Porto. According to Ricardo Valente, City Councilor for Economic Affairs, Porto and the Northern region of Portugal attracted more than 320 investment projects, 60% of which come from more than 30 different countries worldwide.

This dynamic, the EY-Parthenon report stresses, allowed twice faster GDP growth in the north of Portugal than the national average. Just in 2018, Porto and the north of Portugal generated 39% of the Portuguese total exports.