Country Listing

Portugal Table of Contents


Tourism and Unilateral Transfers

Measured in terms of arrivals and foreign exchange receipts, Portuguese tourism had grown at a phenomenal rate since the early 1980s. Foreign arrivals, which averaged about 7.3 million in 1981-1982, expanded sharply each year thereafter, stabilized at between 16 and 17 million during 1987-89, and then increased to an estimated 18.4 million in 1990. Receipts from tourism rose from US$1.15 billion in 1980 to US$3.58 billion in 1990.

In 1990 unilateral transfers reached US$6.5 billion (22 percent of Portugal's current account receipts), of which 73 percent were private, mainly emigrant remittances. About three-fourths of the emigrant remittances originated in Western Europe (mainly France) and one-fifth in North America (mainly the United States). These private inflows not only contributed to the country's foreign exchange earnings, but also represented a significant component of Portuguese household savings.

Gross public transfers in favor of Portugal amounted to US$1,740 million in 1990, of which nearly half (US$837 million) represented structural funds from the EC in support of the country's economic and social modernization. The European Social Fund assisted in vocational and professional training; other funds participated in the Specific Plan for the Development of Portuguese Agriculture (Plano Económico para o Desenvolvimento da Agriculltura Portuguêsa--PEDAP) and the Specific Plan for the Development of Portuguese Industry (Plano Económico para o Desenvolvimento da Indústria Portuguêsa--PEDIP). The Portuguese government was required to cofinance projects funded by these EC transfers. Although Portugal no longer was a member of EFTA, the latter continued to assist the former member country in its economic restructuring efforts. Finally, included in the category of official unilateral transfers were United States government military and economic grants that totaled some US$160 million annually for the use of the large United States Air Force base in the Azores.

Data as of January 1993