More investment in innovation, skills and infrastructure needed

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 06-09-2019 01:00:00 · 0 Comments
More investment in innovation, skills and infrastructure needed

The European Commission insists that Portugal should invest more in innovation, skills and infrastructure to strengthen its economic growth potential and reduce its macroeconomic imbalances.

The EU executive’s comments come in response to a question from José Manuel Fernandes, who asked the Commission what recommendations it could give to Portugal to improve the rate of economic growth, given that Brussels forecasts that growth will lag behind countries such as Greece, Spain, Ireland, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Malta and Poland.

In the reply, which Lusa had access to, the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, essentially ‘repeats’ the recommendations released by Brussels last June.

Moscovici starts by stressing that, in terms of innovation, “the low level of spending on research and development hampers structural change and participation in knowledge-intensive industries”.

“Policies to address these problems include improving the working conditions of science professionals and promoting investment in intangible assets”.

With regard to skills problems, Moscovici points out that the main measures recommended by the EU executive include “increasing the number of science and information technology graduates and improving adult education programmes”.

Brussels also encourages further investment in transport infrastructure, arguing that ‘investments in seaports, especially related to cargo-handling capacity, and rail links with Spain, would contribute to increasing the competitiveness of exporting companies’.

In order to stimulate competition and the development of renewable energy, the European Commission recommends greater resource efficiency, including ‘investments to improve resource efficiency and energy connectivity in the Iberian Peninsula’.

Finally, Moscovici recalls, “the implementation of improvements in various aspects of the business environment would also be decisive for increasing productivity and growth potential” and “the 2019 recommendations addressed to Portugal stress the need to take measures to reduce bureaucracy, increase the efficiency of the judicial system and reduce regulatory constraints in the area of professional services”.


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