A Region promoting Competitiveness

The Portugal North Region, located in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, is characterized by its opening and exposure to the exterior, by a strong tradition and wealth of experience in international trade and a settled trend to migratory population flows. The region has 144 kilometres of an Atlantic coastline that provides further opportunities for international expansion and economic interaction. This connection to the sea is, in fact, the origin of a remarkable cultural and historical heritage.

Portuguese North Region has 3.7 million inhabitants and a density of population that is 1.5 times above the average for mainland Portugal and the European Union. The dimension of the Greater Porto area, in what concerns population, economic and communication infrastructures, is noteworthy given that it encompasses a potential market of more than three million people living less than one hour in travel time from the area.

The North Region, a young, entrepreneurial and industrial region, where you can find notable artists and creators, has also made use of UNESCO’s World Heritage titles to valorise urban, historical and natural areas possessing strong potential in terms of international development and tourist appeal.

Industrial and export vocation

Strong industrial and export vocation of its region is reflected through a positive regional balance of trade, encompassing exports that account for around 43 per cent of all domestic exports. The textile sector is mainly responsible for this fact, supported by significant contributions from the electrical material, machinery sector and footwear sector. Technology-based business areas have concurrently developed - such as the medical devices, pharmaceutical, biochemistry and biotechnology sectors - which have a strong export potential. The main export markets of products from the Portugal North region are exacting and highly competitive, such as the neighbouring Spanish market as well as the German, French, UK and USA markets.

A further exceptional feature of the North Region is that it possesses the stretch of Atlantic coastline with the highest level of international goods traffic to and from the EU, through the five kilometres of docks of the Leixões Port and the most important airport in the north of the Iberian Peninsula, taking into consideration traffic numbers, area of influence and connectivity.

The renovated Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport has now the capacity to handle six million passengers per year and provides connections to more than 25 destinations. In what concerns land borders, Portugal North Region leads the table in relation to passengers between Portugal and Spain and the prospective link to neighbouring Galicia via Chaves, which will include the creation of a strong logistics platform and will lead to an increase in the region figures of entry and exit of goods.