“There are signs of recovery, but we have to be vigilant and not think that everything is resolved,” said Vítor Neto, who mainly represents companies that provide services to the tourism sector, the most important in the southern region of the country.

The president of NERA welcomed the way in which the resumption of activity in the last four months is unfolding, indicating that there are “good prospects” for the level of economic activity in the Algarve to approach the levels of 2019 at the end of this year, the year before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We can face the future with more confidence”, said Vítor Neto, who also recalled that the central government “took positive measures in the most difficult period” of the crisis caused by the pandemic, such as lay-offs, that supported companies and workers.

The businessman warned that, even so, “there is still a lot to do”, with “fundamental problems” and the need to create mechanisms to revive companies in the medium term.

Short term issues

In the short term, Vítor Neto expressed concern about the implications of some “uncertainty factors”, most of them linked to the evolution of the war in Ukraine, such as rising inflation and its impact on energy prices (electricity and fuels).

He added that the sector also has to “watch” the flows of tourism that may evolve in an unfavourable way in the future, depending on the conflict situation in Eastern Europe.

“We must insist on the authorities and the Government to take immediate action and, above all, prepare for the future, namely with an investment in renewable energies”, said the president of NERA.

Vítor Neto defended that companies have to be more sustainable and start using more environmentally friendly energies: “It's not just survival, we also have to gain strength to face the future”, he said.

In a medium/long term perspective, he also highlighted the need to solve problems such as the lack of manpower, which is national and inter-sectoral.