LOCATION AND INFRASTRUCTURES

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY


SECTORS OF EXCELLENCE:


MOLDS

Plastics

Metallurgy and Metalworking

Glass

Ceramics

Stone

Food industry

LOCATION AND INFRASTRUCTURES

The Centro Region is located right in the heart of the country, comprising a large area, comprising the districts of Coimbra, Castelo Branco and Leiria, most of the districts of Aveiro, Viseu and Guarda, and part of the district of Santarém.
The Centro Region is bordered to the north by the North Region, to the east by Spain, to the south by the Alentejo and the Lisbon Region, and to the west by the vast Atlantic Ocean.

It is, therefore, a vast region, rich in history and heritage, a land of people so hospitable, right in the heart of Portugal, with so much to tell and show.
Home to about 2242000 inhabitants in the central region, and there are over 250,000 companies based in the Center region.

It benefits from excellent road infrastructure, which guarantees privileged conditions of accessibility by road to the international airports of Lisbon and Porto, as well as to their maritime ports. In its immediate vicinity are two other seaports with some importance in the freight of goods (Figueira da Foz and Aveiro). The proximity and easy access to various regions of Spain, the proximity of good sea ports and important rail nodes are contributors of the strong exporting vocation in the Centro region.

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY

The economic activity of the Centro Region presents some distinctive aspects that differentiate it from the national context and reinforce its interest as an investment destination.
There is a strong manufacturing presence of industrial activity, which represents about 30% of business in this region, reaching much higher than usual in developed economies, including the portuguese (22%).

In Centro region, and particularly in the region of Leiria where NERLEI operates, this importance of industry is not based on natural resources, which are not especially abundant, but on solid and long lasting competitive advantages such as a strong culture of entrepreneurship, availability of skilled labor, inherited from a rich industrial tradition, and an important focus on innovation and connection to external markets.
The manufacturing industry in the region of Leiria places between 40% and 45% of its turnover in foreign markets, and in some of the most representative subsectors, such as the mold industry, this percentage exceeds 90%.
Contrary to what occurs in the national panorama, most of the R & D activity is concentrated in companies and supported by a local network of applied research centers linked to higher education.
The industrial sector reveals the significant presence of traditional sectors linked to the transformation of non-metallic minerals (glass, ceramics), along with specialized niches in more innovative sectors, especially molds, plastics and metal-mechanics.

SECTORS OF EXCELLENCE MOLDS

Portugal is one of the world's leading manufacturers of molds, namely in the area of molds for injection of plastics. It is an industry with a strong exporting vocation, being sent to foreign markets a share of more than 90% of the total production.
The growing consolidation and notoriety of the Portuguese Mold Industry has been driven by its dynamism, technological capability, innovation and by a competitive quality / price / delivery deadline. With a long tradition in the region, the sector has a strong export capacity, with the cluster of companies present in several phases of the value chain of the sector. The growth of this industry has been fueled by the focus on technological innovation and the development of high engineering skills, with companies showing great aptitude for the rapid adoption of new processes and technologies.
The Leiria Region is one of the most important development centers of the mold industry at the European level, accounting for almost half of the national turnover, with a strong concentration of companies in the Marinha Grande area.

Plastics

The plastic and mold industries have a clear technical and economic integration with each other. The plastics industry is also characterized by strong growth dynamics and the innovation of processes, products and the organizational level. In recent years, the implantation of local companies of this industry in very specialized segments has been consolidated, in particular the use of technical plastics in the areas of medicine, sport and leisure.
The plastic industry of the Leiria Region is responsible for a significant portion of the total national production, being strongly oriented to sales abroad. It occupies about 5000 workers. The main destination markets are located in Europe - Spain, France and Germany.

Metallurgy and Metalworking

It is one of the most representative segments of the Portuguese manufacturing industry. Competitive and dynamic, increasingly oriented towards differentiation and innovation, it reveals a strong exporting vocation, placing in foreign markets around 45% of production.

This sector is present in the Region of Leiria, representing about twenty five percent of the industrial companies installed in it. The most representative segments are the manufacture of machines and equipment, tools and metallic elements for the construction.

Glass

The glass industry is undoubtedly one of the distinctive clusters of the Region, where it has been present since the 18th century, when the first factory was created in Marinha Grande.
With a recognized tradition in the sector, the region is the most important pole of the glass industry at the national level. The abundance of key raw materials (sand and limestone) allow the region to maintain a high competitiveness and strong exporting vocation.
Currently, the sector is characterized by the cohabitation of more traditional companies with other more modern and technologically advanced ones. The companies in this sector are present in the main segments of glass: hand glass, packaging glass, glassware, lighting glass and scientific glass.
The contribution to the high level of exports has been mainly due to the large automatic packaging glassmakers of Marinha Grande, which are responsible for more than 1,000 jobs.
The Technological Center for Ceramics and Glass, located in Coimbra, assumes itself as a partner for the competitiveness of companies in the sector, playing a fundamental role in the increasing stimulation of the innovative potential of companies.

Ceramics

The ceramic industry presents a high diversification of products, technologies and target markets. It has a strong exporting vocation, with its products present in more than 150 countries, highlighting some of the main European markets - France, Spain and Germany.
It is in the north of Leiria that there is the most important white clay exploitation reserve in Europe, from which the raw material supplied to most of the ceramic and earthenware industry is extracted. The abundance of key raw materials is thus key to strengthening the competitiveness of the sector and its export capacity.
To foster the development of competencies of the professionals of the sector, in Marinha Grande, there is a training center specialized in the ceramics industry, CENCAL - Professional Training Center for the Ceramic Industry.

Stone

The Portuguese stone has gained more and more notoriety in the international markets for its quality and beauty. After Italy, Portugal is the world's largest per capita exporter of stone products, having China, France, Spain and Saudi Arabia as its main destinations.
The Leiria Region is present in this sector through its known limestones, which are also sought and recognized throughout the world. The Chinese market has shown a growing appetite for these products as evidenced by the strong growth (+ 37% in 2012) of sales to that country of the stone of the Leiria Region.
In order to contribute to the innovation of the companies in the sector, the Natural Stone Cluster was created, whose three main strategic axes are those of consolidating and betting on the conquest of new markets, the qualification of resources and territories, and organizational, technological and productive innovation.
The Cluster has embraced several initiatives, among them the brand statement Stone PT - Marca da Pedra Portuguesa, which was created with the purpose of certifying and creating notoriety for the Natural Stone Product of Portuguese origin in international markets.

Food industry

The food industry comes fourth in terms of turnover in the region's manufacturing industry as a whole. The most representative productions are compound feeding stuffs, meat products, wines, cheeses, fruit and vegetables.
The region is also notable for its privileged access to some of the main raw materials of the food industry, such as vegetables and fruit, fish and eggs.

The companies of this sector headquartered in the Region can benefit from the technological support services provided by the CATAA - Center for Agro-Food Technological Support. This entity develops R & D activities and dissemination and technical assistance to the agri-food cluster companies.