Tuesday, 19 September 2017
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Mayor Rogerio Bacalhau talks to part of the publicIn the presence of 32 entrepreneurs, directors, doctors and a consultant, a debate on ‘the future of Portugal and the EU’ was held at FNAC in Faro and later at FNAC in Guia.

Faro Mayor Rogério Bacalhau opened the first event and spoke about the large debt that his predecessors left him. He emphasised that the important thing is to work to repair what needs to be improved and gave as an example the renovation of old buildings in Faro that has generated many local jobs.

Mayor Rogerio Bacalhau talks to part of the publicJoão Fernandes, vice-president of the Algarve Tourism Board explained recent data on the growth of this vital activity for the region and the country, indicating that the forecasts for 2016 and 2017 are positive, since the problems that our competitors in the Mediterranean face should continue for some time. He stressed, however, that we should develop other types of tourism as well as sun, beach and golf. He said seasonality needs to be reduced.

Elidérico Viegas, president of the Association Hotels & Tourism Enterprises, warned over over-optimism. The 12 million tourists we had in 2000 were not surpassed in 2015. He also mentioned seasonality and the need for more promotion to attract more than those now fleeing the problems of our competitors.

Mendo Henriques, president of Instituto da Democracia Portuguesa focused on the growing bureaucracy in public employment with guaranteed job privileges. He also highlighted the huge private and public debt, plus public-private partnerships (PPPs) which reach astronomical €700 billion, impossible to pay, when the annual Gross National Product is €130 billion. This is due to a policy initiated in 1986. Some European funds have been well used, but in recent decades we have seen increasingly useless white elephants.

Jack Soifer, international consultant, author of books such as PORTUGAL POS-TROIKA, ALGARVE / ALENTEJO - MY LOVE, and ONTEM E HOJE NA ECONOMIA, discussed the use of many niches to generate employment in the country.

While others speak of the bottle half-empty he spoke of the half-full, i.e., we need all to work together to correct deviations and explored what we can further develop.

Jack mentioned some tourism niches, sea resources, herbs, gastro + wine tourism, sweets and drinks, but warned of the bureaucracy that frightens investors.

Pres.of ATA, Agencia Turismo Algarve, Carlos LuísOthers joining the debate included Carlos Luís, president of the Tourism Agency of the Algarve, which promotes the region abroad. Also, the economist Fernando Santos and commercial director Maria Helena Baião spoke, one of the issues being unemployment.

João Galante opened and closed the event with jazz-fado and a glass of wine was served.

Some 35 businessmen, directors and doctors, eight from five countries, and a Consul came to FNAC in Guia. Rui Virginia from Quinta do Barranco Longo spoke of business in the Algarve and the quality of wines needed for export. Virginia sells to foreign visitors and, without any institutional support, could export more than he can produce.

Gerhard Zabel from Quinta da Figueirinha spoke of Agritourism and organic farming, focusing on nature tourists, especially those from German-speaking countries.

Mário Nunes, president of the General Assembly of the Association of Figo-Índia Producers, explained the association’s objectives and how it could help reduce the import of pharmaceuticals if the state adjusts its rules to recognise this sector.

Nuno Miguel Neto, president of APEXA, spoke of integration in the community, such as for the disabled who can become useful and independent with the help for self-help, vocational training and other forms of support.

'The future of Portugal and the EU' conference University professor and Swedish author Göran Linde spoke of the problems of small countries within a very EU-bureaucratic structure which is far from their reality.

Ricardo Mariano spoke of importing products from China and how he supports small exporters to penetrate some niche markets in that country.

Mendo Henriques again covered bureaucracy and Jack Soifer, taking advantage of the presence of doctors, physiotherapists and psychologists, highlighted the potential of medical and health tourism throughout Portugal and in the Algarve. He added that the bureaucracy keeps away technology investments.

Alexandra Maasberg, producer of the award-winning extra virgin olive oil Joia do Sul, spoke of the lobbyists as being responsible for a distortion of competition between companies and institutions.

It was also suggested that there be a boycott of large companies that pay almost zero taxes in tax havens such as Luxembourg and the Netherlands, rather than in Portugal where income is generated. But we have no choice, as EDP, GALP and telecoms operators are perfect oligopolies - we depend on them. We must change the tax legislation, as did the Nordic countries.

Directors of CGD and BancoBIC were presented. There is no lack of capital, but a lack of of good projects. There followed an informal networking period with excellent wines from Quinta do Barranco Longo.


0 #1 Guido 2016-04-07 16:28
Barranco Longo, Quinta do Frances, Quinta do Barradas, ,.... at last the Algarve has some new wines to be very proud of !!!!