Chitra Stern appointed to the board of the Portugal In Mission

The purpose of the Portugal In Mission is to “identify opportunities for attracting investment and establishing contacts with potential investors who wish to remain in the EU after the United Kingdom went out [Brexit]”, as well as the “construction of integrated investment solutions appealing to the foreign investor in a ‘one stop shop’ model”.

According to the resolution of the Council of Ministers, published in the Diário da República, the Portugal In Mission Structure “reports on activities every six months and a final report at the end of its mandate,” which is scheduled to “December 31, 2019”.

The follow-up of foreign investment projects will be carried out by the Permanent Commission for Investor Support (CPAI) and the Coordination of Economic and Investment Affairs (RCAEI).

It is also up to this structure to present to the Government “possible legislative initiatives, as well as concrete administrative procedures, necessary to overcome the difficulties identified in the implementation of investment projects”.

Roman and Chitra Stern, both of Swiss nationality, started their first hotel project in Sagres in 2002 and now have grown their Martinhal Family Hotels & Resorts into a small group of 4 hotels between Lisbon and Algarve.

Perhaps the fact that Chitra (of Singaporean origin) is a foreign investor who understands Asian and European cultures and brings the mindset of the foreigner to the table, is why she was invited to join the former Secretary of State for Tourism, Bernardo Trindade, for the special mission, Portugal IN. Bernardo Trindade will oversee this special mission, reporting directly to the PM’s office, to attract companies that wanted to be based in the EU post-Brexit.

Portugal has enormous potential as it is the “California of Europe” where the lifestyle is great. It is starting to to get international attention not just for tourism, but also for business. The Web Summit came to Lisbon last year, co-working spaces are being set up around the city (like Second Home and Village Underground) and there are digital and other start-ups that are mushrooming all over Lisbon, some with the help of accelerator groups.

Over the past 15 years, as foreigners setting up a business in Portugal and growing it, they have faced a government that is open to foreigners, foreign investment and business that provide employment. AICEP (PortugalGlobal) as a trading and investment agency has been fantastic over all these years. They have worked closely with these entities as well as the local city hall etc to accomplish their business goals.

Citra Stern’s personal opinion is that the goal goes beyond Brexit. The mission hopes to help with this long-term strategy, but with some attention to companies that want to move because of Brexit. Their work goes hand in hand with all existing government departments, the work of PortugalGlobal, the Visa Golden program, the NHR scheme etc.

Chitra Stern (LinkedIn)