The Portuguese Business Association, Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AEP) is a multisector association, based in Portugal and headquartered in Porto since its creation, in 1849.
Its membership is composed mostly of small and medium sized companies and micro-companies (around 90%), from a wide variety of sectors, with industry (39.5%), trade (27.2%) and services (21.1%), more widely represented, the rest being distributed among construction (3%) and others (9.2%). The mission of the AEP is, therefore, to defend the interests of businesses and offer its services to help them improve their competitiveness.
As a Chamber of Commerce and Industry, it provides a number of services, namely in support of internationalisation, teaching and vocational training, business competitiveness, provision of economic and legal information, support for different incentives systems, Industrial Licensing, quality, environment and safety, among others. In order to fulfil this mission, AEP developed infrastructure and endowed itself with enough human resources to provide its members and Portuguese companies in general with efficient services.
AEP has always presented itself as an organisation that invests in creating networks and partnerships with similar counterparts, but also as independent and constructive in its relationship with the Government when it comes to discussing the most important issues for the development of the Portuguese economy.
Members are part of a community that defends the interests of companies and are also on the receiving end of privileged and up-to-date information. They benefit from an extensive network of contacts, and support on their path to greater competitiveness or expansion into new markets and are permanently represented at an institutional level. AEP member companies also have preferential and advantageous access to specific services at their disposal, tailored to their needs