AICEP says FDI back to normal by 2022
Portugal’s overseas investment agency AICEP says although foreign direct investment has fallen 76% because of the pandemic, it should attract €1Bn “comfortably” by 2022.
The government body’s president Luís Castro Henriques said that FDI would be “close to back to normal” by the end of the year with “various hundreds of millions of euros of FDI from contracts by the end of June” and is confident that investment numbers will be back to where they had been in 2019 by the end of 2021.
Presenting the agency’s Strategy Plan to 2022 on Tuesday, Castro Henriques said “we will comfortably exceed €1Bn” and added “if someone were to ask me If we’re getting back to normal, I would say we are”.
According to data, AICEP got to the end of 2020 with just €287 million of investment contracts, a fall of 76% compared to the €1.1Bn of projects that benefited from investment in 2019.
Over the past year, Portugal signed contracts for 30 investment projects, with a strong emphasis on shared services and software development centres, with just a dozen manufacturing investments.
The number of job posts created was over 2,000 according to the AICEP president, a far cry from the 7,000 created from investments in 2019.
But for 2021 the agency says FDI will return to numbers seen in the pre-pandemic year. “For now we have already contracted several hundreds of millions of euros so we are not talking about returning from scratch. We are in June, and it might seem strange, but I can say that to October we will sign contracts to the same amount (several hundreds of millions of euros).
Castro Henriques pointed out that the final figure would “depend on what investment would be attracted by the end of the year”.
But if FDI will be back to normal, the outlook for FDE (exports) is not so sure. After a fall of 10.2% in 2020, the weight of exports in terms of GDP was not much above 34% (it had been 43.5% in 2019).
AICEP is currently transforming its operations and processes to digital and will open new trade delegations in Chicago and Scandinavia. (Finland).