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Economy of Madeira

The flourishing of Madeira can always be traced back to its strategic location. Its discovery was made because of the Portuguese explorers. Even the earliest trade occurred because sea merchants were able to do business with the inhabitants of the island due to their navigational route.

Today, the economy of Madeira is still highly dependent with the sea. The Bay of Funchal plays a significant role in business and economics within Madeira. The Port of Funchal has long been a destination for merchants, traders and businessmen since the earlier times. Up until today, this port is considered as one of the most important trading points in the entire country.

The Port of Funchal is extremely important especially for cruise shipping companies because they utilize this as their main dock. Aside from this, the economics within this port is also boosted because of other commercial activities like passenger transportation, fishing and tourism. This port is also responsible for 88% imports and 12% exports.

cruiseship madeira

Free Trade Zone

The creation of the free trade zone in Madeira has opened a lot of opportunities for businessmen from other countries, to transact with entrepreneurs in Madeira. In fact, this contributed a lot in pumping up the performance of the island’s economics.

The Free Zone of Madeira or Madeira International Business Center allows companies to have tax break if they utilize the location for modern infrastructure, business establishments, trading points, manufacturing venues and others. Because of its continuous progress, this free trade zone has added a lot to the archipelago’s income.

Agriculture Industry

Agriculture has always been a part of Madeira’s economic progress. In the 15th century, sugar production opened many doors for business. Today, agriculture continues to be among the primary sources of income for the inhabitants, as well as for the entire archipelago. Among the focus of agriculture in Madeira include raising cattle, planting crops in terraces and creation of more efficient water system so that production may increase. The products which can be harvested here include maize, wheat, barley, rye, grapes, banana, mango, passion fruit and sugar cane.   


Tourism Industry

Tourism is another factor that makes the archipelago’s economy perform even better. Almost 20% of the island’s GDP comes from this sector. People who are from nearby cities as well as those who are from other countries bring in more income. It has to be noted too that the 9% contribution of hotels and restaurants add a lot to the island’s economic performance.

Transportation and logistic improvements

It can not be denied that enhancement with transportation within Madeira would lead to better economic performance. Hence, the construction of new roads and implementation of more efficient transportation policies are continuous.

The two airports do not only accommodate local flights but have also opened international flights. These two airports are the Funchal Airport and Porto Santo Airport. The construction of better roads is non-stop too. That is why most of the areas within Madeira can already be reached by public transportation.  Within Funchal, people can easily hop in and out of the roaming public vehicles. This is not only convenient for locals but most especially, it encourages more investors and entices more tourists. Since a big chunk of traders and tourists still depend on sea travel, even available water vessels have increased. The system within the port is enhanced too.    

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