The gold visa system in Portugal could help to seriously improve the country's struggling economy this year, according to new reports, with property investment from overseas bringing in a substantial level of investment in the nation. The gold visa scheme is designed to bring people from other nations with large sums of money to invest into Portugal on a fast-tracked system that allows them to bypass the normal visa application system.
According to the latest report released by the country's estate agents association, APEMIP, the property sector alone could help bring in a very large proportion of the projected total of €600 million (£492 million) to the Portuguese economy as investors look to get themselves into the market ahead of price rises that are expected to take place in the popular holiday spot over the course of the next few years.
Since the gold visas were introduced in October 2012, the latest figures confirm that some 542 have been granted to foreign investors, helping to add some €336 million to the Portuguese purse. And now APEMIP president, Luís Lima, said investment this year through gold visas could end up being far in excess of what the government has already projected.
" The deputy prime minister and driver of this measure, Dr. Paulo Portas, has said that this year the value of investment in Portugal through 'gold' visas should reach 500 million euros. In my opinion this investment could easily reach 600 million euros, so long as a sufficient promotion work is done with this programme abroad, " he said.
Mr Lima concluded that the impact of the scheme can be measured through investments made - most of which are in the Portuguese property sector - and the positive knock-on effect this has in bringing even more investors from foreign countries into the Portuguese market.