Government wants Portugal to be a “cluster” of industrialization in Europe, says Foreign Minister
Portugal’s strategy to overcome the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is to push towards making the country a “powerful cluster of industrialization in Europe”, defended this Wednesday the Minister of Foreign Affairs in a parliamentary committee following many commentators’ calls for Europe to come together and establish new internal supply chains rooted in European countries.
“The first axis [of the Portuguese strategy] is that Portugal wants to be at the forefront of Europe’s reindustrialization and wants to put its enormous industrial capacities at the service of Europe”, said Augusto Santos Silva in a meeting of the Commission for Economy, Innovation, Public Works and Housing that took place this Wednesday morning.
“There is talk of textiles, clothing and footwear focus, but also engineering, pharmaceutical and agriculture. Portugal wants to be a factor in industrialization, a powerful industrial ‘cluster’ in a Europe of reindustrialization,” said the minister.
According to Santos Silva, the economic crisis caused by the confinement and the closure of economic activities in the context of the novel coronavirus pandemic forced politicians “to learn some lessons that could be an opportunity for Portugal and Europe”. One of these lessons is that the European economy needs reindustrialization, which, according to Augusto Santos Silva, could be an major opportunity for Portugal to grow over the coming years.
In addition, the Minister who is responsible for the internationalization of the Portuguese economy, highlighted that the country has important assets that it can and should use: “a number of natural resources, a large multilingual domain, a high level of technology and quality of service, as well as knowledge and innovation in the field of renewable energy ”.
On the other hand, “the double direction of the strategy will add even more meaning”, he also said, explaining that it is directed not only within the European domestic market – a destination of three quarters of Portuguese exports – but also to the foreign market, with a particular interest in Africa and Latin America.