In 2019, there were 8 275 foreign affiliates in Portugal, employing around 553 thousand persons and representing, respectively, 1.9% and 17.0% of the total non-financial companies. It should be noted, however, that among large companies, foreign affiliates represented almost 40% of the total in this category and 43% of the employed persons.
On average, each affiliate employed around 67 persons in 2019, far above the national companies (employing on average around 6 persons per company). GVA of foreign affiliates in Portugal reached EUR 25.4 billion, increasing 10.4% in 2019, above the growth observed in national companies (+4.3%). In 2019, the GVA of foreign affiliates corresponded to 26.3% of the total GVA of non-financial enterprises. In the same year, the weight of these companies in total exports of goods amounted to 39.9%.
From the total GVA generated by foreign affiliates in 2019, 75.0% was relative to companies owned by entities headquartered on European Union member states.
The apparent labour productivity, the personnel expenses per person employed and the average monthly remuneration of foreign affiliates were, on average, 70.6%, 52.6% and 39,7% higher than the ones observed in national companies, reaching respectively EUR 45 245, EUR 26 100 and EUR 1 401 in 2019.
Comparing foreign affiliates with national companies by size, the differences are not so pronounced when considering the respective values for larger companies and are, on the contrary, very marked in the case of micro and small companies.
In 2019, exports of goods by foreign affiliates (see box) steeper grew than national companies (+6.7% compared to +1.6%). However, in the period from January to September 2020, under the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, foreign affiliates recorded a more negative performance (-16.6%) than national companies (-10.0%).