Portugal a fiscal paradise for the French

There are currently more than 750 French companies operating in Portugal, 400 of which are
associated to the Luso-French Chamber of Commerce and those alone have created some 40,000 jobs, according to finance news site Dinheiro Vivo. Add to that, two new studies show Portugal is at the top of French pensioners’ lists of preferred places to retire.

Portugal Car Hire | Location de voitures au PortugalAccording to Bernard Chantrell, the president of the Luso-French Chamber of Commerce, or the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie Luso-Française, the figures are the result of a growing influx of French nationals investing in Portugal.
Figures from the Portuguese government’s trade and investment agency Aicep show that France is the second largest foreign investor in Portugal, having invested around €6.3 billion per year over the past five years.

French multinational cable and telecommunications company Altice group recently purchased PT Portugal, and already controlled national companies Cabovisão and Oni.

French investment in Portugal can also be found in the form of Renault, Auchan, Essilor, Alstom and also in the concession of national airport management company ANA Aeroportos, which was taken over by Vinci.

But, Dinheiro Vivo explains, French investment in the Portuguese market has been ongoing for over four decades; the Peugeot-Citroën production factory in Mangualde was opened in 1963.

Real estate is another sector in which the French have invested heavily, not only because of the Gold Visa scheme, Dinheiro Vivo claims, but also because of a regime that offers tax exemptions on pensions.
French investment in Portuguese real estate accounted for 16 percent of the 23,000 properties sold to foreigners in 2014.
Last year a leading Western Algarve real estate agency told The Portugal News how a growing number of France’s 15 million pensioners were starting to see Portugal as a “fiscal paradise” and were beginning to test the waters for investing in this country to escape the “great instability” currently experienced in their homeland with regards to pensions.

A spokesperson for Quinta da Palmeira said: “Portugal is seen as a fiscal paradise for the French. France is, at this moment, going through a phase of great instability and the pensioners, of which there are around 15 million, are right now thinking about investing in our country.”

One of the major advantages, it was explained, is the non-residential tax break introduced on 1 January 2013 from which private individuals including pensioners can benefit in Portugal, coupled with the fact that the average pension in France “is around €1,500 per month, which means the French can live much better in Portugal than in France. Meanwhile a new study has found that Portugal is at the top of the wish-list of French citizens looking to grow old overseas.

A survey carried out by the Opinion Way institute and published by French daily newspaper Le Figaro showed that 18 percent of French aged between 50 and 70 (of 911 respondents questioned for the survey) would choose Portugal for their retirement.
The weather and increased purchasing power were the two main advantages citied by the respondents, along with a cheaper cost of living and relative proximity to their homeland.

Portugal scored highly alongside Spain and Morocco, with Mauritius, Thailand and Switzerland also featuring on the list.

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