Portuguese investment agency may support projects worth less than 25 million euros

9 June 2006

Lisbon, Portugal, 09 June – Portugal’s investment promotion agency (API) will be able to support projects valued at less than 25 million euros, which are considered to be of economic interest, after its integration with ICEP Portugal, the country’s export promotion agency, the president of the agency said.

Until now, API was solely dedicated to investments of over 25 million euros and in which turnover of the foreign invetor involved was greater than 75 million euros, but, according to Basílio Horta, in the future the only requirement will be for the investment to be considered “structural.”

This definition will include, he told Portuguese news agency Lusa, investments, “which produce goods for trade, which have innovative production processes, transfer technology, qualify workers and develop regions.”

Speaking at a colloquium of the United States-Portugal Friendship Association, Horta added that the API had approved investment projects to the value of 1.2 billion euros from January to April, a third more than in teh same period of last year, and almost double that of 2004.

By the end of the year “it is optimistic, but possible,” to reach 2 billion euros of investment, he said.

The new agency, known as Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo (Agency for Investment and External Trade), which will be the result of a merger between API and ICEP, will be responsible for promoting investment and foreign trade, but also the internationalization of Portuguese companies. (macauhub)