The service industry plays a major role in the economic growth of Oporto. Nearly 50% of the jobs are from this industry, representing a massive 59 percent of the total turnover of the city. In fact, the OMA accounts for 15% of all Portuguese imports and exports. The major export of Oporto is the high quality Portuguese fortified wine - Vinho do Porto, produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in Northern Portugal. Textiles, pottery, electrical goods, footwear and machinery also contribute to Oporto's economic stability. Technology based company's production of medical devices, pharmaceutical, biochemistry and biotechnology goods play an important role. Oporto and Northern Portugal's main export customers have always been its Spanish neighbours and the German, French, UK and USA markets.
Photo Credit: Creative Commons / Georges Jansoone
Another incomparable fact about the Northern region of Portugal is that it owns a stretch of Atlantic coastline, perfect for international goods traffic to and from the EU. The Leixões Port is a significant logistics platform, which leads to an increase in the economic output of Oporto.
Declaring Oporto as a World Heritage site in 1996 has helped it seek international affirmation and boost the tourist numbers. In 2001, the city was designated the 'European Capital of Culture' by the European Union to acknowledge the public and government's efforts in improving the infrastructure and keeping alive its historic legacy.