The Ribatejo Region has become a gateway to the single European market with its more than 500 million consumers. Thanks to the its entrepreneurship, Ribatejo already has more than 48,000 established companies with a remarkable business activity. The region has implemented incentives to foster research and innovation projects that translate into a gross value added (GVA) of more than 6.8 billion euros.
In order to further increase exports, the Business Association of the Santarém Region, Nersant, has focused on international markets through a closer connection between SMEs and potential foreign investors in the region. This was one of the objectives of the webinar: “Doing business in Ribatejo”, which took place today in Brussels. The main webinar’s goal was to promote the image of Santarem in the Belgian market, thus contributing to increased foreign investment in the region.
Domingos Chambel, President of Nersant, underlined that “the initiative is part of a broader project entitled “Ribatejo Global”, co-financed by Compete 2020, within the scope of the European Regional Development Fund and which in addition to Belgium, actions have also been carried out in other markets such as Canada, Brazil, Dubai and France, with a further action planned in May in the United States. ”
Ribatejo produces a GVA of more than 6.8 billion euros and the activity is diversified, with approximately 48,000 companiesDomingos Chambel, President of Nersant
Ribatejo has the infrastructure necessary to welcome foreign entrepreneurs and even support programs for these investors. Mr. Chambel added that “we have all the conditions for our Belgian partners who are interested in Portugal. We are able to receive your investments and have both the political and economic conditions to facilitate foreign investment.”
Besides its potential for continued business development and innovation, the Ribatejo Region is home to some stunning landscapes, rich history, gastronomy, and breath-taking architecture. The city of Santarem, capital of the region, is a gem not to missed.
Belgian companies increasingly willing to invest in the Portuguese market
On the webinar the panel of speakers included personalities who shared ideas about investment in Ribatejo, such as Rui Faria da Cunha, President of the Belgian-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, who spoke about how to stimulate cooperation between the two countries. The President explained that “despite the negative impact that the pandemic caused in trade between Portugal and Belgium, with a reduction of 6% in exports and 12% in imports, we saw during the last year a significant increase in requests for information from Belgian companies wishing to export, invest or produce in Portugal, which leads us to believe that soon will be resumed the trend of trade growth witnessed in recent years.”
The increasing visibility of Portugal in Belgium, as a result of initiatives like Nersant’s, will help consolidate and strengthen our trade partnership with BelgiumRui Faria da Cunha, President of the Belgian-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce
“We are very pleased to see the interest that the Belgian market is raising among Portuguese companies and business associations, both from the point of view of export promotion and attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), and we therefore congratulate NERSANT and its partners for this timely initiative. Belgium is already the 8th destination market for Portuguese exports of goods (2.3% of the total in 2020) and also has a very relevant position as an investor in Portugal (in December 2020, the stock of FDI originating in Belgium had already reached 1 856,9 million euros). It is worth mentioning that some of these investments are located in the Ribatejo region,” explained Rui Paulo Almas, AICEP’s delegate in Brussels.
Portugal is increasingly the California or Florida of Europe for the good weather and magnificent landscapesLourenço Van Innis, Project Manager of Promiris
Sharing the Belgian market’s perspective on Portugal, Lourenço Van Innis, Project Manager of Promiris, a real estate investment company, noted that “since 2017, Promiris has already invested 50 million euros in Portugal, namely in Lisbon and Porto, and the idea is to double the investment in 5 years, also in Ribatejo, if the opportunity arises.” He also highlighted the reasons why they invested. “On the one hand, the policies of the Portuguese state favored investment with the goal of boosting the sector, and on the other hand, because Portugal is increasingly the California or Florida of Europe for the good weather and magnificent landscapes.”
The Global Ribatejo project, promoted by Nersant, aims to promote the image, capabilities and potential of the region to importers and investors, thus increasing exports through the recognition of the quality of the supply of products and services and attracting foreign investment to the Region.