Portugal’s 3 Most Important International Markets

Portugal has major global reach. Politically and economically, Portugal touches many nations, and has strong relations around the world.

This is the direct result of Portugal’s colonial past. For hundreds of years, the Portuguese Empire ruled over a wide expanse of land, and occupied many countries in the process. The bad stuff aside, Portugal played a part in establishing transatlantic trade routes, and opened-up African markets–all from a small European coastline.

Today, the Portuguese Empire is largely defunct, but it’s legacy carries on today. Portugal’s current international ties connect the world through trade, and businesses are using these ties to their advantage.

For many, Portugal acts as a connection to other global markets that, due to language or other barriers, can’t be easily accessed. These countries offer huge opportunities for international businesses, and having good relations with Portugal is a great way to get on their good side.

We’ve compiled the three best markets connected to Portugal. While the country’s foreign relations with many other nations are good, some countries have a much stronger connection. Here are a few of them.



The largest country in South America, Brazil has long been an economic and political powerhouse. Since their occupation by the Portuguese in 1500, Brazil has seen enormous wealth from natural resources, and is now the world’s ninth largest economy, and the largest in Latin America.

Brazil and Portugal share a “privileged” relationship, meaning that their national ties are uncommonly strong. This relationship is highlighted by the nations’ improving trade and investment flows. In fact, trade between the two was not affected by the global economic crisis, despite Portugal’s economy faltering in 2014.

By working with Portuguese suppliers and businesses, international companies connect themselves to the Brazilian market. Many businesses are diversifying geographically as a way to expand from the relatively lacking Portuguese consumer market.

So, Portuguese companies are doing more business abroad, which means that you can market your goods to be sold in Brazil as well as Portugal. Whether you work in natural resources or crafts, working with Portuguese businesses opens you up to this major South American market.



Specifically, Portugal has strong ties to Angola and Mozambique.

These two nations, while having shaky ties with Portugal in the past, have done well since gaining independence in 1975. In fact, the two nations have a major stake in the Portuguese economy. Without them, the country would suffer.

For many businesses, access to Africa can be a struggle. By working with Portugal and Portuguese businesses, international companies can take advantage of the Mozambique and Angolan markets in specific industries and in trading certain goods.

Specifically, Portugal sends lots of its cotton and wine exports to Africa through these countries.

The Africa-to-Portugal trade line is huge as well, with coffee, tea, and diamonds as the main exports. But, the countries aren’t tied to these industries, and any business looking to invest in Africa can find entry through Portuguese businesses.

The trade and economic picture isn’t great, but it’s the best it’s ever been.



Well, this isn’t surprising.

Spain and Portugal make up the majority of the Iberian Peninsula, and have been economic superpowers for a long, long time.

Both nations are part of many organizations, including the European Union, the Eurozone, Schengen, and NATO. Though past relations were lacking, today the countries are on outstanding terms.

Trade may be the most important relation the two countries share. Spain is Portugal’s top trading partner, and its top import place-of-origin is Spain as well. Spain is Portugal’s only land-bordering country, which makes international trade a breeze.

Portugal is often considered a gateway to the EU. Spain’s proximity makes it impossible not to work with them. Often, international goods coming into Portugal pass through Spain on their way into the EU, and are either sold there or continue on. Either way, Spain touches almost all Portuguese imports.

For international businesses, Spain and the rest of the European Union are accessible through Portugal. Its connected market, while lucrative itself, opens vast international opportunities for businesses looking to go global.

But, businesses still have to pay. Trading with Portugal en route to other markets may reduce how much work you have to do to send money, but even transferring money from one country to another can be unnecessarily costly.

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