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"Every day new investment intentions arrive in Portugal"
29 April 2020 | Ana Tavares

Confinement continues, but real estate remains resilient, and it continues to be attractive to international investors. APPII attests that «every day new investment intentions arrive in Portugal».

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The one who says so is the executive vice-president, Hugo Santos Ferreira, who revealed to VI that the sector «maintains some cautious tranquillity» and confirmed that «we haven’t felt an abrupt stoppage in development and construction. Construction works continue, with some delays, but at a good pace. Online sales took their time, and are now taking place».

According to Hugo Santos Ferreira, «Portugal remains and will continue to be an investment destination for international investors. We will continue to be one of the engines that drives the Portuguese economy», and he believes «the real estate sector will rise to the occasion, as it has just recently done» after the last crisis.

Expecting «that this shutdown will end as soon as possible, obviously respecting all the recommendations from our public entities», and admitting «that uncertainty marks these moments», APPII is already «thinking about tomorrow and the relaunch of the economy, which we want to take place in the very short-term».

Attracting foreign investment will be key. APPII has been in contact with the Government «to contribute and explain in what way real estate investment can help relaunch our economy. It might be the touchstone to relaunch the economy».

APPII already presented several measures for that effect to the Government, amongst which the relaunch of programs designed to attract foreign investment, such as the «golden visa» and the Non-habitual Residents Regime, besides stopping the change to the ARI (Residence Permit for Investment Activity) regime outlined in the Government Budget for 2020: «it represents 700 million euro in investment and 85 million euro in taxes each year», said Hugo Santos Ferreira. «The program must be reconsidered only for Lisbon, and not in the way it was».

On the other hand, he proposes reducing the TVA for construction to 6%, the same as with urban rehabilitation, which «was a case of success», besides waiving the housing AIMI (Additional Building Municipal Tax), «which is one of the country’s great needs. It does not make sense that there is a double taxation if we want to pass on the message that investors are welcome».