Lisbon is Europe’s best work-and-play capital, reports BBC

Lisbon has been named “Europe’s best work-and-play capital” in an article published online by the BBC last week.

Journalist and author Lennox Morrison describes Portugal’s capital as a city that is “staking a claim to the title comeback king, with start-ups, surf and sunshine”.

“Lisbon offers a work-live-surf-and-golf culture in a picturesque setting where English is widely spoken. Plus, office and staffing costs are relatively low compared with other capitals in Western Europe,” she says, stressing that while “the city is still getting back on its feet after the Eurozone crisis which battered the national economy”, it is “working hard to support home-grown businesses and attract fledgling entrepreneurs from around the globe”.

In 2015, Lisbon was named ‘European Entrepreneurial Region of the Year’ while at the same time undergoing a facelift: “Crumbling city centre properties have been renovated and new shops and cafés have opened, as workers return”.
“The change has been dramatic,” Rui Coelho, executive director of InvestLisboa, told Morrison.

“We saw all-time record investment in real estate, tourism and entrepreneurship in 2015. This is fantastic. However, we’re not complacent. Unemployment is still very high and regarding rehabilitation of the city centre there is still a lot to be done,” he added.

As the piece points out, unemployment has dropped from 17.5% in 2013 to 12.2% at the end of 2015.

One of the main promoters of the comeback has been Startup Lisboa, which was founded in 2011 and has helped create more than 250 businesses.

The article adds that around 30% of new entrepreneurs in Lisbon are foreigners.

“Because of technological evolution, talented people can work and live anywhere so they choose a nice place to live and for sure Lisbon is one of these places,” said Coelho, adding that “among the start-ups, high-tech, tourism and creative industries are particularly well represented”.

To read the whole story, http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20160419-europes-best-work-and-play-city

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