A lot of networking between agents and public entities in the Algarve's tourism and agri-food sectors was the result of a session of the Algarve Premium project, whose Closing Days took place on 25 October at NERA's premises in Loulé.

According to Sul Informação, the session, which brought together the project's different partners, served to present the results of Algarve Premium, whose main objective was to promote the internationalisation of companies in the region. To this end, three collaborative networks were created, one in the Agri-food and Maritime sector, another in Nautical Tourism and a third in Cultural and Creative Tourism.

The days were attended by the project's partners, namely the Algarve Region Business Association (NERA), the Algarve Tourism Region (RTA) and the Algarve Tourism Association (ATA), but also by those who ended up being the protagonists and major beneficiaries of the project: the Algarve's companies.

The Algarve Premium "combined quality, tradition, identity and innovation through a wide range of activities" and included promotion and training sessions, studies and strategic plans, participation in specialised events, press and farm trips, portfolios, promotional videos, and various international prospecting activities in Spain, France, Sweden, Italy and England.

In the end, and thanks to an investment of 679,000 euros, co-financed by the European Union through CRESC Algarve 2020, almost two hundred companies were involved - 82 in the Agri-food and Maritime sectors, the Algarve's four marinas and 87 Cultural and Creative Tourism companies - and 105 new partnership/collaboration agreements were signed.

For Marco Vieira, NERA's executive director, one of the great victories of the Algarve Premium was the networking that was possible in each of the three collaborative networks of this project, "within which it was possible to work a lot on internationalisation, define strategies for approaching the target markets that had been identified in the project application and also articulate the best way to welcome the international prospectors that this project planned to bring here to the Algarve in each of these three collaborative networks".

"I would also like to highlight the number of cooperation agreements that have been established as part of the project, which reflect the willingness of these international companies and the Algarve companies involved in the project to continue talking, to continue working and to strengthen the commercial relationship, which in most cases was lacking. However, through this project, it was possible to get to know each other and start a future business relationship," he added.