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Investors "did not leave nor lost interest in Portugal"
22 May 2020 | Ana Tavares

Foreign investors maintain their interest in our country, despite the uncertainty caused by the pandemic on the economy and the real estate market.

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Pedro Rebelo de Sousa, Managing Partner at SRS Advogados, shared with the VI during the segment  Conversas Diárias – Especial Covid-19 (Daily Talks – Special Covid-19) that «foreign investors did not leave Portugal», and the good management of the pandemic will play in Portugal’s favour when compared to other countries. On the other hand, «small is beautiful», and we are a more predictable market in some ways».

These investors «are now trying to hold some decisions for a later time, to see whether there is a price adjustment. Be it commercial spaces or offices, they are bidding their time to see what happens», mentioned the Managing Partner at SRS Advogados.

According to Pedro Rebelo de Sousa, the housing market is not so much the target for these investors as the commercial segment, at a time when he also considers to be «inevitable for the rental market to undergo some adjustments» given the «the hard period local accommodation is going through».

We now need to understand «whether remote work will motivate the big companies to drastically reduce their areas». He believes that that will not be the case, and that «any adjustments will neither be immediate nor radical. There are a lot of things which will still require a physical presence. There will be a rationalization in terms of using the facilities, but that does not mean that it will cause a crisis which will jeopardise the market. It all depends on foreign investment as well».

He is convinced that «the globalised world will be moved towards a new direction and a regionalisation, and Portugal might have the right infrastructure for that exercise. This can be positive, but for this to happen we must analyse what can be done so that it becomes better».

Revisiting the «golden visa», accelerating debureaucratisation

Pedro Rebelo de Sousa considers that it is urgent to «revisit the golden visa. We managed to have space to accommodate this regime and that of Non-Habitual Residents, which brought in people who committed, consumed and invested in the country ».

On the other hand, and for the recovery to be more successful, he considered that we have to «use this to accelerate the licensing processes and debureaucratise our systems. That is the main complaint from investors». He also defends tax relief measures, especially for the construction sector, «so that real estate does not suffocate».