Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho, it’s Off to AICEP We Go…

Written by: Yamila H. Harris

On the heels of an incredible weekend exploring Lisbon and learning about its rich culture and history, Cohort 16 of Stetson’s EMBA program kept the momentum going with an insightful visit to AICEP. AICEP is a government agency in Portugal focused on trade and investment, whose mission is two-fold: to encourage foreign companies to invest in Portugal and to aid Portuguese companies abroad with their internationalization processes. 

It was fascinating to interact with diplomats like Francisco Calheiros Manezes, Sebastiao Silva and Frederico Batista, as they shared insights about Portugal’s current economic revival, evidence of which appears to be everywhere we look. From innovation hubs and incubators like Hub Criativo do Beato and Startup Lisboa, to the mass influx of tourists and local tour providers like Keep It Local Tours (Lisboa), and the plethora of new, trendy shops and restaurants like those found at the LX Factory, there’s no denying that Portugal, and Lisbon in particular, is experiencing a major boom.

Given my particular proclivity for technology and STEM advocacy, it was also incredibly encouraging to hear that more than 26% of degrees in Portugal are in STEM…and that number is growing. It was equally exciting to hear that the Web Summit, one of the most coveted technology conferences for Fortune 500 companies and startups alike, will be hosted in Lisbon for the next decade. This is a huge win for the city and for Portugal’s economic future.

All in all, it was a great start to the official ‘work’ week, with AICEP formally kicking-off our business visits in Lisbon. Thanks again to the AICEP team for taking the time to meet with us.  Muito Obrigada!!