Potential areas of co-operation between Estonia and Portugal are tourism, information and communications technology, and research and development activity, as well as renewable energy production or the food processing industry. In May of 2011, a group of Portuguese entrepreneurs founded the Luso-Baltic Chamber of Commerce, the goal of which is to develop economic contacts between the Baltic countries and Portuguese-speaking countries. By September 2011 the board of the chamber was visiting Estonia and finding contacts. During the economic and financial crisis that has plaged Portugal and in subsequent years, its activity was inhibited. The modest economic growth that has begun in Portugal has allowed the Luso-Baltic Chamber of Commerce and Industry to become more active once again. In 2015, the Luso-Baltic Chamber of Commerce managed to get its own separate office space in Northern Portugal in Viseu.
In May of 2012, the Estonian embassy, in cooperation with the Luso-Baltic Chamber of Commerce and AICEP, organized business seminars in Porto and Lisbon where Estonia’s business climate was introduced by Maria Alajõe, a Member of the Board of Enterprise Estonia.
In May of 2013, a delegation of the Information Systems Authority was in Lisbon for a visit. They met with partners at the Portuguese Agency for the Modernization of Public Administration to speak about e-states and opportunities to exchange experiences.
In May of 2014, the Estonian Embassy in Lisbon, in cooperation with the airline TAP Portugal and Enterprise Estonia in Lisbon organised a seminar introducing Estonia as a tourism destination.
Trade between Estonia and Portugal has grown in the last few years. If in 2010 trade turnover was 12.7 million euros, then in 2016 it was 23,1 million euros (0.1% of Estonia’s total turnover); the increase includes both exports and imports. In 2016, trade balance was for the first time after 2010 positive in Estonia (+0.5 million euros).
In 2012, Portugal was Estonia’s 49th trade partner, 50th in 2013, 44th in 2014 and 45th in 2016.
Trade from 2010-2017 (millions EUR):
|2017 (5 months)||6.6||4.6|
Main export articles in 2016:
Main export articles in 2017 (5 months):
Main import articles in 2016:
Main import articles in 2017 (5 months):
According to Bank of Estonia data, as of 31.12.2015 Portuguese direct investments ranked as – (minus) 9.1 million euros in Estonia. Investments had been made in many different sectors: agriculture, manufacturing, construction, wholesale and retail trade, transport and storage sector, the information and communications sector, financial and insurance activities, real estate, professional, scientific and technical activities.
As of April, 2015, there were 13 Portuguese-owned companies.in the Estonian Commercial Register.
At the same time, the total value of Estonia’s direct investments in Portugal was 2.9 million euros. Investments have been made in manufacturing, construction, wholesale and retail trade, and real estate.
The number of tourists from Portugal visiting Estonia has grown from year to year and Portugal is also becoming more popular as a destination for Estonians. Like most other Southern European tourists, the Portuguese usually visit Estonia in the summertime as part of a tour that visits several neighbouring countries as well. Most Portuguese tourists only visit Tallinn.
Portugal has become increasingly more popular as a summer vacation spot for Estonian tourists, but Portugal still has much more unrealised potential as a spa or tour destination for Estonians considering its reasonable prices, interesting sights, and friendly citizens that are able to speak English. During the past few years the number of tourists has been positively affected by charter trips that are organised in the summertime from Tallinn to Algarve in southern Portugal.