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An initiative to put Portugal "at the top of the list for business development and innovation" takes effect on January 2.

The StartUp Portugal programme is a medium to long-term initiative to "captivate investments that identify Portugal as the best platform" for business development, claims the minister of the economy.

StartUp Portugal aims to attract foreign entrepreneurs who wish to develop projects in Portugal by granting residence permits to inbound business people keen to set up ground level projects.

"As it is one of the most ambitious and innovative programmes for attracting entrepreneurship in the European Union, in the medium to long-term this initiative will be able to capture investments that identify Portugal as the best platform for business development and ideas", stated the Minister of Economy, Manuel Caldeira Cabral.

"StartUp Portugal was presented during this Web Summit and received rave reviews, at the same time as generating expressions of interest in moving some companies to our country after the programme came into effect," added the minister.

The programme grants a residence permit to an incoming foreign entrepreneur with a project that will be based in a certified business incubator in Portugal.

The objective, according to the ministry, is to boost foreign direct investment, employ local talent, promote research and development and broaden the Portuguese entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Portugal’s Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation will be responsible for supervising the process and includes criteria based on the degree of innovation, the business scalability, the market potential, the capacity of the management team and the relevance of the applicant within the team.

Algarve Daily News