Portugal may be known to many for port wine and perhaps even fado music, but there are far more opportunities in the Portuguese market than people may realize. And realizing this is something that can prove very valuable to businesses looking to export to other areas of the world, especially for the United States. Portugal is not only a member of the European Union, but it has very strong ties to the U.S., meaning many American companies who have set up operations there have access to the EU market, giving it a huge advantage.

One of the many reasons that Portugal is so inviting for foreign companies is the fact that many people in Portugal, especially in major urban areas such as Lisbon, can speak up to 4 or 5 languages! That can bridge the gap and get rid of huge barriers that are set up culturally or because of language. It's interesting talking about language, for Portuguese is the 6th most spoken language in the world, and with it being the official language of Brazil, it is becoming more and more pertinent in the business world. Not only that, but Portuguese is spoken from Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau in Africa, to Timor-Leste and Macau in Southeast Asia. Companies will be able to export to markets not even imagined before if they have that base in Portugal! 

Now you may be worried about other barriers such as EU regualtions, but do not! Europe is a relatively transparent and regularized part of the world in which to do business. It's a relatively easier market to deal with when first expanding, rather than complex markets such as Russia or China. Some of the biggest expanding industries in Portugal are called the ACE sectors, which include architecture, construction, and engineering. Since huge infrastructure projects are being planned by Portugal's government, there is great opportunity there. Especially now there is a need for sustainable development and green building projects, as Portugal just passed a law that requires all new construction and renovations of buildings to be energy efficient. So if you are looking for that gateway country to expand to other areas of the world, think about one that is not thought about often, Portugal.

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