‘Portugal will not be more competitive in a low wage model’ – António Costa

  • ECO News
  • 23 November 2021

António Costa said that there is now "total unanimity" in the country about the need to increase salaries and pointed to qualifications and innovation as "the engines of the country's recovery".

Portugal’s prime minister believes that “the country has finally overcome the sterile debate” on what should be the factors for its development. In this sense, António Costa points out that “today there is total unanimity in recognising that the country will no longer be competitive in a low wage model and that the engines of the country’s recovery are based on qualifications and innovation.”

António Costa was speaking this Tuesday during the 9th National Congress of the Order of Economists, in Lisbon, where he estimated that Portugal should recover its pre-pandemic GDP level “by mid-2022”. “Portugal can return to the convergence trajectory that it had interrupted in 2000. We converged with the European Union in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, and everything points to us resuming the path of convergence as early as 2022, if not even in 2021,” he added.

The prime minister also stressed that the country cannot “neglect or leave behind” the over-50s generation, which needs an “enormous requalification effort”, even to face the labour and social consequences that come from the closure of some polluting activities as happened at Petrogal, in Matosinhos, or at the coal-fired power stations of Pego and Sines.

“The double challenge of the climate and digital transitions generates the need that imposes the opportunity. We cannot miss the opportunity to reskill and upskill this population,” Costa pointed out.