WEBINAR | Lisbon, Portugal


During the webinar series Promising cities for international Business each session a different  region is introduced. The possibilities are explored and the business environment is analyzed by a local World Trade Center and Dutch entrepeneurs that are already active in the region. This time the focus of the webinar will be on Lisbon and by extension Portugal.

The capital of Portugal has a population of about 2,900,000. In recent years the city has become a popular destination for a short or long city break. Lisbon is a strategic gateway to and from the European, American and African continents. 

Growth prospects remain favorable and the Portuguese economy grew by 4.9% in 2021 despite challenges related to commodity prices, global supply chains, and greater uncertainty about external demand. 

Portugal remains a relatively small market with a good 10 million inhabitants, and the population’s spending potential is, on average, moderate. However, the Portuguese market is not saturated, as the country is still catching up from a position of disadvantage. As a result, investments are being made in the modernization of industry, the tourism sector, the energy and environment sector, the health sector and in training.

The startup and technology sectors are growing and many events are hosted to facilitate the growing interest. Such as the Websummit in November

Urban Development

During the economic crisis, investment in urban development in Portugal mostly came to a halt. That difficult period is now over. Portugal is preparing a number of large projects in the field of infrastructure and urban development. This offers opportunities for Dutch entrepreneurs.

Opportunity: Cidade da Agua
The Cidade da Agua (Water City) project is the largest urban development project of the past 20 years in and around Lisbon. Limited space and high prices make Lisbon explore new opportunities for further growth. Cidade da Agua is an ambitious example of this.

Currently the project is in the beginning of the final phase. In this, it is particularly interesting for consortia and larger investors in the real estate sector. Even if you do not belong to these groups, Cidade da Agua can be an interesting project for you. In time, there will be many assignments here for companies involved in sustainable energy solutions, logistics issues and water management. Being aware now means that you will have a head start later.

Expansion and construction of airports

Due to the growth of tourism, Lisbon needs to expand its airport. Moreover, a second airport is being built across the river Tagus. This offers opportunities for Dutch entrepreneurs in various sectors.

Traveler experience
For entrepreneurs in the field of traveler experience, there are plenty of opportunities. From stores to digital solutions to make the stay at the airport as pleasant as possible. The airport must become more than a place where travelers arrive and depart. More like a small city with all the associated facilities.

Airport construction and infrastructure
These Portugese projects also offer plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs in the field of airport construction and modernization. In the construction of the new airport, the Portuguese government is also investing in infrastructure. For example, the ferry service between Montijo and Cais do Sodré is being expanded. This creates opportunities for Dutch shipyards and other entrepreneurs in the field of infrastructure.

Interested in doing business in this region or do you wish to expand your knowledge? We will focus on the opportunities that are there, the pitfalls, the cultural differences and how to find the right business partner.  


  • Introduction by Mr. Evert Jan Schouwstra – Director WTC Leeuwarden
  • Presenting Lisbon Video
  • Introduction WTC Lisboa by Mr. José Magro – Vice president WTC Lisboa
  • Introduction of Portugal and the challenges, opportunities and cultural differences
  • Doing business in Portugal, by Mr. Alexander Griekspoor – Entrepeneur and Board Member of the Dutch Portugese Chamber of Commerce
  • Q&A

Bio of speakers

José Magro

Marketing Executive for over 20 years in energy in the US, Brown & Root and Shell Group in Brazil, Portugal and England. In Brazil he was also Marketing Director of TAM Airline and VP of Young & Rubicam of the Group WPP, having had an important relationship with WTC São Paulo. As an entrepreneur in Portugal he fostered investment, networking and commercial exchange among non-European companies, including technological start-ups, in the European Union. In the last 4 years, he was Executive Vice President of the Portuguese-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Since April 2019 he became Vice President of the WTC Lisbon.

Alexander Griekspoor

Alexander Griekspoor is a software developer in Lisbon, Portugal, from where he writes innovative software for scientists. After a PhD in Cell Biology he switched fields and joined the European Bioinformatics institute as a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow. By then, however, Alexander was already better known as “Mek” from the duo “Mekentosj”. Together with his friend Tom “Tosj” Groothuis he developed a number of scientific Mac applications, two of which won Apple Design Awards for best Best Student and Best scientific Mac OS X application, respectively.

What started in his spare time as hobby became his passion and turned into a young and exciting software company with 7 people on 4 continents. They created Papers, which won their third Apple Design Award. In 2012 his company was acquired by Springer Science+Business media where he continues to head the Papers unit. Alexander strongly believes the economic future of both Portugal and The Netherlands will rely on talented young people deciding to take their destiny in their own hands by starting small new companies that grow out to be tomorrow’s main brands.