"For a long time young people here couldn't find opportunities in Portugal, but today we increasingly see more young people finding opportunities and who understand that Portugal can also be a good destination for young people of other nationalities," he said in Braga City, some 360 km north of capital Lisbon, during a book launch.
Passos Coelho also pointed out the importance for the country to have "solid public finances" and hoped for a "more rapid progress", adding that ambition among young people in Portugal was reflected in the growing number of students in higher education, Portuguese Lusa News Agency reported.
"We need to be more ambitious, to take more young people to higher education and we need them to complete their degrees with increasingly higher grades," he added.
Passos Coelho said that young people had been particularly affected by the country's financial crisis and durable solutions were needed for the future, while pointing to the need for balanced public accounts.
"I am convinced that the next years will be of even more rapid progression than most people think," the prime minister said.
The Portuguese economy is improving, with its GDP expanding in the fourth quarter at the fastest rate in a year. However, Portugal's youth unemployment rate is still frighteningly high, standing at around 33.6 percent in January, according to Eurostat.