Large companies to put Portugal back in European Top15

  • Lusa
  • 22 June 2021

BRP will be chaired by Vasco de Mello (José de Mello group) and will have Cláudia Azevedo (Sonae) and António Amorim (Corticeira Amorim) as vice-chairmen.

Forty-two leaders of the largest companies on Tuesday announced creating a new business association that proposes a new ambition for Portugal and wants to return to the European Top 15 of wealth per capita.

The Business Roundtable Portugal (BRP) association proposes to contribute to Portugal growing much more than it has grown, with the ambition of returning to the European Top 15 in wealth per capita, by valuing and training the population, supporting the creation, development and economies of scale of companies and improving the performance of the state as a facilitator of economic activity and wealth creation for society as a whole.

BRP – which declares itself independent and apolitical – will be chaired by Vasco de Mello (José de Mello group) and will have Cláudia Azevedo (Sonae) and António Amorim (Corticeira Amorim) as vice-chairmen.

At the presentation of the new entity, Vasco de Mello stated that the association was born from a group of businessmen concerned with the lack of growth in the country and that they had no intention of replacing any existing confederation or business association.

Altogether, the companies brought together in BRP – in the agro-industry, automotive, olive oils and edible oils, banking and insurance, construction, cork, energy, industry, wood, media, paper, chemicals/pharmaceuticals, retail, health, technology/software, telecommunications, textiles, transport, logistics and mobility, tourism, glass and wine sectors – represent €82 billion of accumulated revenues, more than 45 billion of which are invested abroad, and employ 382,000 workers.

“We want small and medium-sized companies to be big and big companies to be global,” he said.

Vasco de Mello recalled the unique moment in history, with great repercussions at the social and economic level, and the need to act at the level of people, companies and the state and to set a course for the country in the coming years.

He told reporters working groups would be set up to study the concrete proposals to be presented for each area, to balance academic work with the pragmatism of the business world.

The association intends to intervene at the level of the training and requalification systems of people in the increase of scale of the Portuguese business fabric and contribute to reinforcing the state’s role as a promoter and stimulator of the economy.

During the session, Cláudia Azevedo referred to the need for people to be at the centre of this process and to lay the foundations for a break with an education, requalification and training system that puts Portugal in last place.

António Amorim spoke of Portugal’s lack of scale and its lagging behind its European partners in this area, considering that this is one of the most decisive factors for accelerating growth.

“The crisis has to be a turning point to reflect and review what is wrong. We must stop postponing solutions. This is the right time for a new plan and a new ambition for the entire country,” he added.

Vasco de Mello stressed that the state has to be part of the solution, defending a state that guarantees a fair, efficient and simple judicial system, that combats bureaucracy and unnecessary complexity, that simplifies processes and guarantees transparency, capable of guaranteeing fiscal predictability, speed and simplicity in the relationship with citizens and companies.

The association intends to carry out the proof of concept of the new structure by 2022 with the definition of the working groups and presentation of concrete proposals for the various areas, and from there, it admits to expanding the range of associates to other companies.