MCAV were present at the Portugal Economic Forum on 11/04/18 at Bloomberg offices in London – and observed keynotes speeches from the Secretary of State, Eurico Brilhante Dias and Portuguese Prime Minister, Antonia Costa. Respectively they emphasised Portugal as being an ideal location for UK companies to base their subsidiary organisations to maintain their smooth access to the European market – as well as take advantage of their preferential connections with America, Central Europe and Africa.
They described the heavy investment made into broadband, fibre and connectivity infrastructure making Portugal the 14th ranked country in World Digital Competitiveness. Parallel infrastructure investments have Portugal ranked 8th in the world for road quality, 31st in the world for rail quality, 29th for air transport and 25th for Port (shipping) quality.
They also drew attention to Portugal’s high level of educational standards (mostly state funded), with 400,000 students graduating in 2017 in the fields of Social Science and Law, Engineering and Manufacturing, Healthcare, Maths and Computer Science.
Particular importance was placed on Portugal’s continued work and encouragement for start-ups and SMEs to create innovation clusters focused on Artificial Intelligence, E-commerce, IoT, Robotics and Fintech industries. Large Enterprises such as Bosch, Mecachrome and Brintons, were reported to have invested heavily in expansion plans.
Antonio Costa closed his keynote speech by stating that ‘the UK had an opportunity after Brexit to remain with Europe’ via Portugal.