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The internet economy in Portugal is a rapidly growing sector that significantly contributes to the nation’s overall economic development. This digital economy encompasses various industries and activities, including e-commerce, digital services, tech startups, and the digital transformation of traditional businesses. The Portugal e-commerce market is expected to reach USD 5.88 billion in 2024 and grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.16% to reach USD 9.98 billion by 2029. Robust digital infrastructure and connectivity are fundamental to the growth of Portugal’s internet economy. The country has made significant investments in expanding high-speed internet access, including the deployment of 5G networks.

Internet governance

Internet governance in Portugal involves the development and implementation of policies, standards, and practices that regulate the internet infrastructure, digital services, and online activities within the country. This process relies on a multistakeholder approach that includes government bodies, private sector entities, civil society organisations, and academic institutions, all working towards the common goal of ensuring a secure, inclusive, and innovative digital environment.

A key institution in this realm is the National Regulatory Authority (ANACOM). ANACOM is responsible for overseeing electronic communications and postal services in Portugal. It ensures compliance with both national and European Union regulations, promotes competition, and protects consumer rights. ANACOM’s functions include spectrum management, monitoring the quality of service provided by telecom operators, initiating cybersecurity measures, and fostering innovation within the telecommunications sector.

The Ministry of Economy and Digital Transition is also pivotal in shaping and implementing digital policies in Portugal. This ministry spearheads several initiatives aimed at promoting digital transformation across various sectors.

Regulation and legislation also play a vital role in Portugal’s internet governance. The country adheres to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to ensure the protection of personal data. Additionally, the implementation of the Network and Information Systems (NIS) Directive enhances cybersecurity across critical sectors, ensuring that robust measures are in place to protect digital assets and infrastructure.

Portugal actively participates in the IGF, contributing to global discussions and debates on internet governance. This involvement is facilitated through several key institutions and stakeholders:

Representatives from the National Regulatory Authority (ANACOM) have participated in the IGF, bringing expertise in regulation, compliance, and spectrum management. ANACOM’s contributions to the IGF help to inform global discussions on telecommunications regulation, market competition, and consumer protection.

Portuguese government officials, civil society organisations and academic institutions also play an active role in the IGF. These stakeholders bring diverse perspectives on digital inclusion, human rights, and the socio-economic impacts of internet governance, enriching the overall dialogue.

At the national level, the Portuguese Internet Governance Forum Initiative serves as a platform for dialogue. It brings together public and private stakeholders, academia, the internet technical community, and society at large to inform, reflect, and debate internet governance in an open and interactive manner. Portuguese stakeholders are also actively involved in the Lusophone Internet Governance Forum, which brings together Portuguese-speaking stakeholders from around the world. This forum provides an international platform for Portuguese speakers to collaborate, share experiences, and address common challenges in internet governance, strengthening the global dialogue on digital issues.

Digital strategies

Action Plan for Digital Transition

One of the significant policy frameworks guiding internet governance in Portugal is the Action Plan for Digital Transition. This plan aims to accelerate the digital transformation of the Portuguese economy and society. It focuses on enhancing digital skills, fostering innovation, and ensuring digital inclusion. The Action Plan encompasses digital education and training programs, support for businesses undergoing digital transformation, development of digital public services, and the enhancement of digital infrastructure, including the deployment of 5G technology. The plan also aims to modernise public services through digitalization. This includes developing user-friendly e-government services, enhancing cybersecurity, and improving the efficiency and accessibility of public administration.

Portugal 2030

Portugal 2030 is another strategic framework that plays a crucial role in shaping the country’s digital future. This framework is designed to guide Portugal’s development with a significant emphasis on digital transformation and internet governance. The goals of Portugal 2030 include improving connectivity, promoting digital literacy, and fostering an innovative digital economy. The framework outlines policy options such as investments in digital infrastructure, support for research and development in digital technologies, and initiatives to enhance digital skills across various sectors.

National Digital Skills Initiative

The National Digital Skills Initiative is another significant strategy aimed at fostering digital literacy and skills across Portugal. Launched in 2017, this initiative addresses the need for digital competencies in an increasingly digital world. It focuses on inclusion, ensuring that all citizens have access to digital tools and the internet, reducing the digital divide. It integrates digital skills and knowledge into the education system, from primary schools to higher education. It provides training and reskilling programs for the workforce to meet the demands of the digital economy. Encouraging advanced digital skills and specialisation in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and data science is also a critical focus. Additionally, it promotes research and development in digital technologies to drive innovation and economic growth. The initiative collaborates with various stakeholders, including government agencies, educational institutions, and private sector partners, to implement its programs effectively.

Digital Innovation Hubs

Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) are key components of Portugal’s strategy to support technological innovation and digital transformation. These hubs act as one-stop shops that help companies, particularly SMEs, become more competitive by providing access to technology testing, financing advice, market intelligence, and networking opportunities. DIHs are designed to create a collaborative environment where businesses can experiment with new technologies and find solutions to digital challenges. They bring together academia, industry, and government to foster innovation and knowledge transfer. Notable DIHs in Portugal include the Portugal Digital Innovation Hub and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTI). These hubs play a critical role in the digital ecosystem by promoting the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies, such as AI, robotics, and the internet of things (IoT), thereby enhancing the competitiveness of the Portuguese industry on a global scale.


National Cybersecurity Strategy

At the heart of Portugal’s cybersecurity efforts is the National Cybersecurity Strategy. The strategy outlines the country’s comprehensive approach to safeguarding its digital assets and ensuring the resilience of its information systems. It is designed to address a wide range of cybersecurity challenges, from protecting critical information infrastructures to enhancing incident response capabilities.

The strategy is coordinated by the Portuguese National Cybersecurity Centre (CNCS). The CNCS plays a pivotal role in implementing and monitoring the strategy, ensuring that all measures are effectively executed. The centre’s responsibilities include developing national cybersecurity policies, coordinating responses to cyber incidents, and promoting cybersecurity awareness among citizens and organisations.

Portuguese National Cybersecurity Centre (CNCS)

The CNCS is the cornerstone of Portugal’s cybersecurity infrastructure. It operates under the Ministry of the Presidency and Administrative Modernisation and is tasked with enhancing national cybersecurity through a variety of initiatives. These initiatives include the protection of critical infrastructures, incident response coordination, and fostering a culture of cybersecurity.

One of the CNCS’s primary functions is to develop and implement cybersecurity policies that align with both national and European Union standards. This ensures a cohesive and effective approach to cybersecurity across all sectors. The centre also provides guidelines and best practices for organisations to enhance their cybersecurity posture, covering areas such as risk management, data protection, and secure software development.

Critical Information Infrastructure Protection

Portugal’s approach to critical information infrastructures (CIIs) protection involves close collaboration between the public and private sectors. The CNCS works with various stakeholders to identify vulnerabilities, assess risks, and implement security measures to safeguard these vital infrastructures. This collaborative effort ensures that CIIs are protected against a wide range of cyber threats, from sophisticated attacks by state actors to opportunistic attacks by cybercriminals.

Incident Response and Coordination

A robust incident response capability is essential for mitigating the impact of cyber incidents. The CNCS coordinates national efforts to respond to and recover from cyber incidents, providing support and guidance to affected organisations. This includes the establishment of incident response teams, the development of incident response plans, and the provision of training and resources to enhance response capabilities.

Portugal also participates in international efforts to improve incident response and coordination. This includes collaboration with European Union agencies such as the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) and participation in international cybersecurity exercises. These efforts help to strengthen Portugal’s ability to respond to cross-border cyber threats and enhance its overall cybersecurity resilience.

Promoting Cybersecurity Awareness

Raising cybersecurity awareness among citizens and organisations is a critical component of Portugal’s cybersecurity strategy. The CNCS conducts various awareness campaigns, educational programs, and training sessions to promote a culture of cybersecurity.

Educational programs are integrated into the national education system to ensure that students are taught the fundamentals of cybersecurity from a young age. For businesses and professionals, the CNCS offers specialised training and resources to help them stay updated on the latest cybersecurity trends and best practices.

International Collaboration and Standards

Cybersecurity is a global challenge that requires international collaboration. Portugal actively participates in various international forums and initiatives to enhance global cybersecurity. This includes cooperation with the EU, NATO, and other international organisations to share information, develop joint strategies, and coordinate responses to cyber threats.

A key element of Portugal’s commitment to international cybersecurity standards is its ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, commonly known as the Budapest Convention. This treaty is the first international treaty seeking to address internet and computer crime by harmonizing national laws, improving investigative techniques, and increasing cooperation among nations.

AI strategies and policies

Academic Excellence and Research

Portugal boasts a robust academic infrastructure with several universities and research institutions at the forefront of AI research. Institutions such as the University of Lisbon, the University of Porto, and the NOVA University of Lisbon are known for their cutting-edge research in AI, machine learning, and data science.

The Institute for Systems and Robotics (ISR) and the Portuguese Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science (LIAAD) are notable research centers contributing to the AI field. These institutions focus on a range of AI topics, including robotics, computer vision, natural language processing, and intelligent systems, driving forward Portugal’s AI capabilities.

Dynamic Startup Ecosystem

Portugal’s startup ecosystem is vibrant and growing. Lisbon, in particular, has become a hub for tech innovation, attracting entrepreneurs and investors from around the world. The annual Web Summit in Lisbon is one of the largest technology conferences globally, showcasing Portugal’s commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.

Notable AI startups in Portugal include Unbabel, definedCrowd, and Feedzai. Unbabel uses AI to provide translation services, combining machine learning with human post-editing to ensure high-quality translations. DefinedCrowd offers AI training data solutions, facilitating the development of more accurate machine learning models. Feedzai specialises in AI-driven fraud detection, helping financial institutions prevent fraud and enhance security.

Government Support and Policy Initiatives

The Portuguese government has implemented several initiatives to support the growth of AI and digital transformation. The National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, known as AI Portugal 2030, outlines the country’s vision and strategic objectives for AI development. This strategy focuses on fostering research and innovation, promoting AI adoption across industries, and ensuring ethical and responsible AI use.

AI Portugal 2030 aims to create a favourable environment for AI startups and companies by providing funding, infrastructure, and regulatory support. The strategy also emphasises the importance of digital skills, aiming to equip the workforce with the necessary competencies to thrive in an AI-driven economy.


General profile

Official name: Portuguese Republic

Source: Wikipedia

National internet domain: PT

Source: Wikipedia

Area: 92,212 km2

Source: Wikipedia

Capital: Lisbon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10.41 million

Source: Wikipedia

Population growth: 0.5

Annual population growth rate for year t is the exponential rate of growth of midyear population from year t-1 to t, expressed as a percentage. Population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship.
Source: World Bank Open Data

Life expectancy at birth: 81.07

Total years (2020year) Source: databank.worldbank.org

Rule of law estimate: 1.13

Rule of Law captures perceptions of the extent to which agents have confidence in and abide by the rules of society, and in particular the quality of contract enforcement, property rights, the police, and the courts, as well as the likelihood of crime and violence. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately -2.5 to 2.5 (Estimate 2021)
Source: databank.worldbank.org

Regulatory quality estimate: 0.83

Regulatory Quality captures perceptions of the ability of the government to formulate and implement sound policies and regulations that permit and promote private sector development. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately -2.5 to 2.5 (Estimate 2021)
Source: databank.worldbank.org

Political stability: 0.95

Political Stability and Absence of Violence / Terrorism: measures perceptions of the likelihood that the government will be destabilized or overthrown by unconstitutional or violent means, including politically-motivated violence and terrorism. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately -2.5 to 2.5 (Estimate 2021)
Source: databank.worldbank.org

Economic info

Currency: euro

Source: Wikipedia

Unemployment: 6.5

Unemployment, total (% of total labor force) Source: databank.worldbank.org

GDP (current US$): 255 billion

Source: databank.worldbank.org

GDP growth (annual %): 6.8

Source: databank.worldbank.org

GDP per capita (current US$): 24,515

Source: databank.worldbank.org

Inflation, consumer prices (annual %): 7.8

Source: databank.worldbank.org

GNI (current US$): 251 billion

The Gross National Income, GNI, formerly referred to as gross national product (GNP), measures the total domestic and foreign value added claimed by residents, at a given period in time, usually a year, expressed in current US dollars using the World Bank Atlas method. GNI comprises GDP plus net receipts of primary income (compensation of employees and property income) from non-resident sources. Source: databank.worldbank.org

Ease of doing business score: 76.47

The ease of doing business score benchmarked economies concerning their proximity to the best performance in each area measured by Doing Business for the year 2019. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from0 = lowest performance to 100 = best performance Source: databank.worldbank.org

Digital profile

Internet and social media penetration:

Individuals using the internet: 84.5 (2022)

Individuals using the internet, total (%) Source: www.itu.int

Social media statistics: 7.43 million

Estimate for 2024
Source: datareportal.com

Male internet users: 85.5 (2022)

Male internet users as a % of total male population
Source: www.itu.int

Facebook users: 5.95 million

Estimate for 2024
Source: datareportal.com

Female internet users: 83.6 (2022)

Female Internet users as a % of total female population
Source: www.itu.int

Instagram users: 5.80 million

Estimate for 2024
Source: datareportal.com

Households with internet access at home: 88.2 (2022)

Households with internet access at home (%) Source: www.itu.int

Linkedin users: 4.90 million

Estimate for 2024
Source: datareportal.com

Fixed broadband subscriptions: 43.5 (2022)

Total fixed broadband subscriptions (per 100 people) refers to fixed subscriptions to high-speed access to the public internet (a TCP/IP connection), at downstream speeds equal to, or greater than, 256 kbit/s.
Source: www.itu.int

Twitter users: 2.01 million

Estimate for 2024
Source: datareportal.com

Mobile infrastructure and access:

Mobile ownership: 97.1

Mobile phone ownership as a % of total population (Estimate for 2022)
Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

Mobile Infrastructure: 82.1

Mobile Infrastructure index: High-performance mobile internet coverage availability. It includes parameters such as network coverage, performance, quality of supporting infrastructure and amount of spectrum assigned to mobile network operators (Estimate for 2022)
Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

Male mobile ownership: 97.4 (2022)

Male mobile phone ownership as a % of total male population
Source: www.itu.int

Mobile Affordability: 65.5

Mobile Affordability index : The availability of mobile services and devices at price points that reflect the level of income across a national population. It includes parameters such as mobile tariffs, headset prices, taxation and inequality (Estimate for 2022)
Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

Female mobile ownership: 96.9 (2022)

Female mobile phone ownership as a % of total female population
Source: www.itu.int

Cybersecurity Index: 97.28

Cybersecurity Index (Estimate for 2021): ITU cybersecurity value
Source: www.itu.int

Network performance: 75.5

Network performance index: Quality of mobile services measured by download speed, upload speed and latencies (Estimate for 2022)
Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

Mobile download speeds: 68.5

Mobile download speeds: Average download speed for mobile users (originally in Mbit/s) (Estimate for 2022)
Source: Ookla's Speedtest Intelligence

Mobile uploads speeds: 68.5

Mobile uploads speeds: average uploads speed for mobile users (originally in Mbit/s) (Estimate for 2022)
Source: Ookla's Speedtest Intelligence

Mobile Latencies: 89.5

Mobile Latencies: Average latency for mobile users (originally in milliseconds) (Estimate for 2022)
Source: Ookla's Speedtest Intelligence

Speedtest-Broadband: 93.1

Speedtest-Broadband: The value is expressed in Mbps (Estimate for 2024)
Source: https://www.speedtest.net/global-index

Network coverage: 96.3

Network coverage (% of total population) (Estimate for 2022)
Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

2G Coverage: 99.9

Coverage % of population
Source: www.itu.int

3G Coverage: 95.0

Coverage % of population
Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

4G Coverage: 99.7

Coverage % of population
Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

5G Coverage: 85.0

Coverage % of population
Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

Operating system and browser market share estimate:

Operating system market share (%):

Desktop, Tablet & Console Operating System Market Share: Estimate for 2024
Source: https://gs.statcounter.com/

Browser market share (%):

Browser Market Share Worldwide: Estimate for 2024
Source: https://gs.statcounter.com/

Android: 29.7

Chrome: 63.8

Windows: 49

Safari: 13.9

iOS: 13.4

Edge: 7.6

OS X: 5.5

Firefox: 6.2

Linux: 0.8

Samsung Internet: 2.0

The UN E-Government Survey 2022:

The UN E-Government Survey is the assessment of the digital government landscape across all UN member states. The E-Government Survey is informed by over two decades of longitudinal research, with a ranking of countries based on the UN E-Government Development Index (EGDI), a combination of primary data (collected and owned by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs) and secondary data from other UN agencies.

E-Government Rank: 38

Nations E-Government Development Index (EGDI), a combination of primary data (collected and owned by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs) and secondary data from other UN agencies. Estimate gives the country's rank.
Source: https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/data-center

E-Government Index: 0.83

The EGDI is a composite measure of three important dimensions of e-government, namely: provision of online services, telecommunication connectivity and human capacity. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately 0 to 1.
Source: https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/data-center

E-Participation Index: 0.73

The E-Participation Index (EPI) is derived as a supplementary index to the United Nations E-Government Survey. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately 0 to 1.
Source: https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/data-center

Online Service Index: 0.8

The online services index was developed by the UN to evaluate the scope and quality of government online services. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately 0 to 1.
Source: https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/data-cente

Human Capital Index: 0.87

The Human Capital Index (HCI) quantiï¬_x0081_es the contribution of health and education to the productivity of the next generation of workers. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately 0 to 1.
Source: https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/data-center

Telecommunication Infrastructure Index: 0.82

Telecommunication Infrastructure Index- Telecommunication Infrastructure Index (TII) Composite Indicator that measures the countries' Telecommunication infrastructure readiness to adopt the opportunities offered by Information and Communication Technology as to enhance their competitiveness. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately 0 to 1.
Source: https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/data-center

ICT information:

ICT skills

Information economy indicators

Individuals with basic ICT skills (%): 38.3 (2021)

Source: www.itu.int

Share of ICT goods, % of total exports (value) 3.48 (2021)

Source: https://unctadstat.unctad.org/

Individuals with standard ICT skills (%): 38.8 (2021)

Source: www.itu.int

Share of ICT goods, % of total import (value): 6.85 (2021)

Source: https://unctadstat.unctad.org/

Individuals with advanced ICT skills (%): 7.2 (2021)

Source: www.itu.int

Most visited website: wikipedia.org

The survey conducted in 2022 excluded global dominant sites (e.g., YouTube, Facebook, and Google) and search engines (e.g., Yahoo, Baidu, DuckDuckGo, Naver, and Yandex) to level the playing field and discount middle-man visits. Likewise, it did not include adult, betting, illegal streaming/downloading services, and malicious websites.
Source: https://www.hostinger.com/tutorials/the-most-visited-website-in-every-country