At the ceremony for the signing of four investment tax contracts worth a total of €141 million, at the Centro Cultural de Belém, in Lisbon, António Costa stressed that “all forecasts” point to, between 2021 and 2022, the Portuguese economy growing by about 9 percent.

“It means that, at this moment - in which with the acceleration of the vaccination process we can look towards the end of this summer as being able to reach this very important moment for the trust and total liberation of society that is herd immunity -, we already have in place a set of investments that will ensure the sustained growth of the Portuguese economy, the maintenance of jobs and the creation of more and better jobs in the future, essential to absorb the unemployment created by the crisis”, he highlighted.

On the other hand, the prime minister pointed out that 2019 had been, until now, the year in which the country broke the record for foreign direct investment.

“In terms of foreign direct investment, the contracts already supported by Aicep [Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade] are already 92 percent of the value of the best year ever, which was 2019. We are still in July, there is still a lot of work to do, there is still the opportunity for us to break the 2019 record in 2021”, he predicted.

António Costa highlighted the results achieved in the first quarter of the year, which he classified as “the best ever in business investment in Portugal”.

“When, in the midst of a crisis like the one we are going through, we had, in the first quarter of the year, the best quarter ever, it makes us very confident in the future of our economy”, he highlighted.

Previously, the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva, had also foreseen the possibility of a new record in attracting investment, when comparing the “best result ever” by AICEP in 2019, around 1,100 million £, with what had already been achieved in the first half of 2021, with investment support in excess of €1 billion.

In his speech, António Costa considered talent, technological capacity and security as “the essential factors” for attracting foreign direct investment to Portugal.

Even in 2020, “a critical year”, the prime minister highlighted that investors understood that the crisis “does not have structural reasons, but circumstantial ones” and it was possible for AICEP to celebrate “35 new contracts”.

The investment contracts were signed on 20 July between the State, through Aicep Portugal Global, and the companies João de Deus & Filhos, Vila Galé, Tryba and Simens Gamesa, and, according to the Agency, will allow the creation of almost 500 jobs.

“We have been looking carefully at the importance of European funds, but it should not be forgotten that, alongside these funds, there is the capacity of the Portuguese State, through the State Budget, to support investment, as in the case of these four contracts, and there is, above all, a huge effort by private investment, which must be commended”, he said.

For the prime minister, the signing of these contracts is “a clear sign of confidence in the future of the economy and in this golden cycle of private investment in Portugal”.

“I want to tell everyone that I recognise the business sense, the sense of risk of investing at a time when the crisis requires investment more than ever, public for sure, but essentially private,” he said.

On the other hand, the head of Government highlighted that the four contracts signed “illustrate the importance of choosing the green economy as an engine”, stating that the support is focused on areas such as renewable energies, on new equipment for hybrid or electric engines, improving the energy efficiency of buildings or eliminating non-recyclable plastic in hotels.