Majority of US companies foresee new investments in Portugal

A total of 78% of American companies anticipate new investments on Portuguese soil, according to the most recent study from the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Portugal.

The pandemic, the rise in inflation and more recently the war in Ukraine have brought new challenges to the business fabric. Despite the current context, most US companies present in Portugal foresee an increase in business volume and even consider making new investments in 2022, according to a study from the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Portugal.

In a universe of around 1,000 US companies in Portugal – employing close to 50,000 workers – 75% believe that their business volume will increase this year, while 25% expect that it will remain the same, shows the study released on Tuesday during the panel “Expectations and Prospects of American Company Executives” for 2022, organised by AmCham, with the participation of Andres Ortolá (Microsoft Portugal), Rui Minhós (Tabaqueira) and Rui Teixeira (ManPower).

Regarding investments, the trend is similar. A total of 78% of American companies anticipate new investments in Portugal, while 19% do not expect to make any investments and only 3% have a scenario of disinvestment for 2022 on the table.

When asked about the expectation of reaching levels similar to those prior to the pandemic, 59% of the companies reveal having already reached pre-Covid levels, 22% anticipate reaching those levels still in 2022, 19% only next year and, at last, 3% only after 2023. However, when the question is focused on the country, the forecasts are quite different. Only 3% of US companies say that Portugal has already reached the pre-pandemic levels, 25% expect such recovery to be reached in 2022, 47% in 2023 and 25% after that period.

The challenges and pessimism of companies toward the Portuguese economy

Another of the topics addressed in this barometer was how North American companies view the current economic situation of the country. According to the study, 40.63% are pessimistic or very pessimistic, 37.50% have a neutral opinion and 21.88% are optimistic about the Portuguese economy.

As far as the challenges to economic development for this year are concerned, the American business community considers that the main obstacle will be “economic instability and uncertain recovery”, followed by “digitalisation and cyber-threats” and, at the end of the podium, “new pandemic waves/health crisis”.

For Portugal, in the companies’s eyes, the biggest challenges will be “economic instability and uncertain recovery”, “political instability” and the “rise in inflation and interest rates”.

According to AmCham, the main sectors of activity for the companies that took part in this study are Information Technologies, Consulting, Health, and Construction and Real Estate.