AHETA, Association of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises of the Algarve, appeals to the Government not to exclude the Algarve from the Golden Visa Program. The Algarve is, says AHETA, the largest and most important Portuguese tourist region, and also the most affected by COVID – 19, facing an unprecedented economic and social catastrophe.
It is estimated that, despite the huge economic recession that the region is going through in the last half of 2020, “gold visas” injected around 20 million euros into the Algarve economy, in addition to contributing to the preservation of promoters and companies in the real estate sector and activities upstream and downstream, which correspond to thousands of jobs.
In 2020, compared to the same period in 2019, this mechanism decreased by 5.7% at the national level. However, in the semester from July to December 2020, the Golden Visa Program generated a total of 543.17 million euros in Capital Transfer. The Algarve occupies, through this Program, the top three of the Portuguese regions that attract more foreign investment, after Lisbon and Porto.
In this sense, in the name of the superior interests of the economy of the Algarve and the country, AHETA calls on the government not to exclude the region from the so-called “gold visas”, as one of the most important mechanisms for attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the region.
The “Golden Visa” Program has been a huge success, representing a major factor of economic and social development for the Algarve, either through the attraction of foreign investment, or by boosting residential tourism and, therefore, regional employment.
The amendment to the Legal Regime of Residence Authorizations for Investment, (ARI), intends to relocate these investments to the interior of the country, without taking into account that locals and regions develop according to their vocations and not due to mere legislative changes. .
It is recalled that “gold visas” have generated around 5 billion euros since their approval in 2012, that is, about 10% of the total FDI in Portugal in the same period. In addition, 94% of the total investment went to real estate and, of these, 97% were invested on the coast, namely in the Algarve.
We cannot take the risk of shunning important investments to other competing destinations in this period that is so critical and difficult for regional tourist activity and for the Algarve, regardless of the initiative, praiseworthy at all levels, to strengthen foreign investment in low-density regions.
AHETA recalls that fiscal stability is one of the most decisive reasons for attracting new investors, especially at a time when there is a need to reinforce the attractiveness factors of the Algarve's tourism economy, with several developments underway in the region that aim to attract more foreign investment for the Algarve in the short / medium term.