The Portuguese economy improved - and yet, employers continue having complaints. ECO spoke to business people from different sectors and found out the major concern: lack of incentives to invest.
The Portuguese economy hadn’t grown this much in 17 years, but business people continue having complaints. According to the President of the Portuguese Republic, who heard the “perplexities and lack of motivation” of managers, this is the “price” we have to pay for the stability of the current governance solution. Employers complain, among other things, of lack of incentives to investment.
João Miranda, CEO of Frulact, is worried about the lack of public investment, and especially with the lack of incentives to corporate investment. In addition to this concern, he is also somewhat fearful of the sustainability of the Portuguese economy. “The growth of the Portuguese economy is based on the behavior of exports and tourism; the same is to say that it is dependent on income that is not as fixed as the level of costs this Government has increased”, he stated.
"The growth of the Portuguese economy is based on the behavior of exports and tourism; the same is to say that it is dependent on income that is not as fixed as the level of costs this Government has increased.”
Armindo Monteiro, CEO of Compta, shares this opinion. He believes the 2018 State Budget “stands against companies, there is no incentive to investment”. Armindo Monteiro further stated: “There are no structural investments, and sooner or later, we will end up paying a high price for it”.
The President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, in the First Congress of Portuguese Managers, acknowledges the Government gave “unfavorable signs to corporate investment, both in taxes and in production costs”.
Employers speak of a “de-capitalization of companies in exchange for a higher tax burden”. José Alexandre Oliveira, CEO of Riopele, believes that “if Portugal has no capitalized and competitive companies, it will not be possible to overcome future challenges”.
As for António Rodrigues, CEO of Casais, he criticizes the lack of specialized labor force. “The construction sector has been very harmed by the lack of quality labor force. We have lost around 500 thousand job positions since 2010 and this has and will continue having a significant impact in the country, because these losses are not being compensated“.
António Rodrigues also recalls that this is a European trend. “Northern European countries are gaining more population, as opposed to the South. We must contradict this movement, but Portugal is doing very little in this regard”, he assures.