Golden Visa Success: Chinese Investors Help Rebuild the Portuguese Economy

Updated: 12 July 2021

Portugal’s economy has been recovering from its downturn in 2010 but the process has not been easy. Golden Visa programs of the country did manage to bring a lot of foreign investors to the country. It seems like the vast majority of these foreign investors are Chinese nationals. In a way, one can argue that the Chinese have been funding the Portugal’s recovery for some time now. 

Portugal’s Economy is Recovering

Portugal, alongside of Cyprus, Greece, and Ireland had to deal with the terrible consequences of 2010s Euro crisis. The country had to make many concessions in order to get monetary help from the European Central Bank and IMF. However, these days the Portuguese economy is doing much better. It actually grew by 2.8% in 2017 but that was a rather big figure owing to favorable external factors. This figure went back to 1.7% for 2019 but that is still bigger than the expected 1.4% for the year. Portugal’s economy is certainly being recovered and it will continue this way for the unforeseeable future. 

Chinese Investments are a Huge Help in the Economic Recovery

Chinese private and state-owned companies can be thanked for their role in making sure that Portugal comes back on its feet in the recent years. A total of a whopping 10 billion dollars was invested in Portugal since 2010 by Chinese individuals. Chinese investments came as a result of the troika on the Portuguese government which stated that the Portuguese had to sell certain government owned firms to the investors so that they could pay back their debts. This meant that the Chinese, and many other nationalities for that matter, could easily invest in Portuguese economy and actually own some of the more important parts of the Portuguese economic system. 

Chinese Investment Shows a Wide Variety

It is interesting to note that the Chinese investment in Portugal is not limited to real estate as one might assume from the strong Golden Visa programs of the country. Indeed, 4000 Chinese have already taken their “Golden Visa” from Portugal which makes them 60% of all the applicants. Moreover, they own the largest insurance company in the country, the electrical supply and distribution chains, hospitals, media outlets, hotels, and even some air transportation rights. In short the Chinese have invested in a huge variety of Portuguese industries and this has put the country well back on its track to grow.

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