According to a survey released Friday by the Portuguese Business Association (AEP), one in two companies has already reached or exceeded pre-pandemic activity levels.
About one in two companies has already reached or exceeded pre-pandemic activity levels, but only one in six has recovered export levels, according to a survey released Friday by the Portuguese Business Association (AEP).
The results of AEP’s January survey of 320 member companies from all over the country and from various sectors of activity, also indicate that more than two thirds (68%) claim that PT2030 community funds are “essentially directed” to the business fabric, “contrary” to what happened with the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR).
The reduction of social security contributions (mentioned by 65% of respondents), the strengthening of support for vocational training (61%), the reduction of corporate income tax (57%), the effective strengthening of corporate capitalisation mechanisms and the flexibility of labour legislation (both with 43%) are the main policies to stimulate the growth of economic activity and exports advocated by entrepreneurs.
“Our latest survey shows us that a clear and integrated strategy is urgently needed, with concrete measures to recover economic activity, improve the competitiveness of the economy and relaunch and reorient investment. These are the three main priorities that AEP defends that would allow us to achieve economic growth above that projected in the macroeconomic scenario,” said Luís Miguel Ribeiro, AEP president.
The survey also points to the reduction of energy and fuel costs as other important measures to stimulate the economy, with 82% of companies highlighting the cost of raw materials as the main difficulty felt in their activity, followed by the lack of skilled labour (73%) and transport and energy costs and the lack of raw materials (all with 64%).
Other “barriers” felt by companies are the lack of political trust and specialised training, very long collection periods, de-industrialisation, difficulties in financing and support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the state’s high bureaucracy.
The AEP president also notes that “one of the survey’s conclusions indicates that most companies want to invest as early as 2022”, which “shows confidence, but also reveals that the Government has to speed up in PT2030”.
“It means that the funds have to be stripped of bureaucracy and put at the service of companies,” he emphasised.
At a time when remote working has gone from mandatory to “recommended”, the study also points out that only about one in 10 companies has a majority of remote working regime, while in the future only one in 15 is thinking of adopting it.