In a pre-recorded message released at the opening of the summit, which runs until 4 December, António Costa praised the value of "sharing knowledge and experiences" so that, collectively, society can face the current and future challenges, particularly in post-Pandemic.

"The post-Pandemic world will be different. And we must ensure that it will be better," said Costa, expressing the expectation that the Web Summit could be "the starting point for a better future.

The Prime Minister said that "2020 is a year of pandemic, but it is also the year in which Portugal enters the 'league of champions' of innovation.

"The year in which, even before the pandemic began, Portugal launched the action plan for the digital transition aimed at the digital empowerment of people, companies and state bodies," he noted.

The year 2020 is, he stressed, the year in which the country has chosen to invest in "innovation and digitalisation", which seeks to balance "economy and social needs".

Also according to the Prime Minister, 2020 is the year in which Portugal has seen a 14 percent increase in the number of students in research and technology".

The next three days, he said, will be an opportunity to bring together investors, creatives, government leaders, entrepreneurs and "open-minded" people to "discuss and create solutions and new approaches" for the future.

Web Summit 2020 - Centre Stage

The Web Summit, considered one of the largest technology summits in the world, is being held this year entirely online with "an estimated audience of 100,000" people.

For the co-founder of the event, Irish Paddy Cosgrave, the next major challenge will be to bring "100,000 people to Lisbon", which will only happen "in 2022 or 2023".

On the controversy of the payment of 11 million Euro (eight million by the government and three million by the Lisbon City Council) for an edition that is 'online', Paddy Cosgrave said it was a political issue, in which he did not want to get involved.

After two editions held in Lisbon (2016 and 2017), the Web Summit and the Portuguese government announced, in October 2018, a 10-year partnership that will keep the conference in the Portuguese capital until 2028.