I really love Portugal, after all I was born and raised here so that nostalgic patriotic feeling did rub on me, especially from my father who was in the military during the 70′s. So I’m biased when I say, most stuff made in Portugal is of good quality.
The list is not amazing but if you want cork or leather goods, wines, hats, clothes and some typical rugs, my country excels in those areas. We had some pretty amazing heavy industry but due to economic changes around the world and in Europe they all sunk (pun intended…some will get it)
These days Portugal is mainly a services country so it’s normal that many companies around the world use our small factories to assemble things, because Portugal it’s one of the cheapest places to do so in Europe and also because the work force is often very professional about their duty, taking pride in what they assemble. Companies like Camel Active, Leica, gun makers, shoe makers, bag and even car companies assemble things around here and they also often take pride in their Portuguese factories and work force, something you can’t do with sweat shops in Asia for example.
Assembled in Portugal often means parts come from very low wage factories in Asia, sadly some Portuguese companies are now using the “Made in Portugal” stamp to promote shitty electronics made in China but assembled and packaged in Portugal, and when I say assembled it’s more like OS configured and that’s about it. I’m strongly against this practice because such products are not made or assembled in Portugal, they are not even designed in Portugal! The are re-packaged in Portugal and I think this practice should be strongly regulated by the European and Portuguese law.
So next time you buy electronics “Made in Portugal” you might need to check if the parts don’t come from a very low wage countries made by under skilled workers.
A little side note about China and other low wage countries, like I said in the past, their work force is really necessary but I’m against underpaid workers and sweat shops. Some pretty amazing stuff is made in China and they have amazing engineers. People should be paid for their work doesn’t matter if they are Portuguese or Chinese a fair wage is necessary.