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Business Groups, Associations and Networking for Expats in Portugal

Author: Jim Newham
Submitted: April 2015

No business is an island, and networking is an essential part of Portuguese business culture. There are numerous networking groups, clubs and professional associations dedicated to business and individual professions. You can find out more about them in Portuguese business magazines and journals, and on the website of the local chamber of commerce.
Typically, you will have to sign up to the business group to become a member and pay an annual membership fee. In return, you will gain access to the group's networking events, publications, online resources and consultation services. There is detailed information on how to become a member, along with various types of membership and the respective fees on the group’s website. Most of these groups have regional and local branches.
Among the major business groups and networks are:

Some networks are specifically dedicated to women in business. These membership-based networks offer support to businesswomen in Portugal and organise regular training and networking events. Some of the most prominent networks include:

In addition to this, there are numerous professional networks and associations dedicated to individual professions, such as the Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR), Portuguese Farmers’ Confederation (CAP) and the Portuguese Industrial Association (AIP). There is an extensive list of professional, governmental, and business associations in Portugal on the Export Focus website.
As elsewhere in the world, online networking sites have also become very popular among professionals in Portugal. These networks enable companies and individuals to create online profiles and join interest groups. They can be useful tools for self-promotion, recruitment and making new contacts in your field. The most widely used networking site among professionals in Portugal is the global networking site LinkedIn.

Expat business people may also be interested in country-specific business groups. A good starting point is to approach the respective country's Chamber of Commerce in Portugal. Most Chambers run clubs both for business people from a particular country and for Portuguese business people who want to do business with that country. These clubs offer consultation services and organise networking events for their members. For other expat groups in Portugal, see Expat Groups in Portugal.




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