Portuguese companies already habituated to political instability – The Jornal Econômico

The Business Innovation Association (Cotec) will participate in an annual meeting of the sector, at a time marked by political instability in Portugal, to which national companies "have become accustomed", according to this entity .

"We have already got used to living with some political instability and doing our business with that same instability," Isabel Furtado, president of Cotec Portugal, told Lusa.

Still, for the person in charge, the current political crisis in the country "is always worrying". "It is always a sand in the middle of an economic path that Portugal must have," said Isabel Furtado, speaking about the XIII Cotec Europe Meeting, which takes place in Naples and brings together the Portuguese, Italian and Spanish associations.

On Thursday, the Portuguese parliament approved an amendment to the Government's decree, with the votes against the PS and the support of all other political forces, stipulating that the time of service to be recovered by the teachers is nine years, four months and two days claimed by the teachers' unions.

Following an extraordinary meeting of the government's "hard core" (on Friday morning) and a hearing with the President of the Republic (that afternoon), Prime Minister António Costa announced that he had informed Marcelo Rebelo of Sousa that the Government will resign if the total accounting of teachers' time of service is approved in a global final vote.

Today's meeting in Naples, which brings together business leaders and institutional figures from the three countries, thus comes at a time of political crisis in Portugal.

It is also the first public initiative of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa since the beginning of this crisis, about which the Portuguese head of state has not yet spoken.

According to Isabel Furtado, "political stability as an engine for business investment is always a topic that has to be addressed."

However, "companies also have to live with these risks, which are going to be not only political, but labor, fiscal," she said, referring that this is "another" case.

"One thing is sure: as the changes are getting faster, any instability also makes these changes more dangerous," warned Isabel Furtado.

Under the theme "Competitiveness and Innovation in Public Administration", the annual meeting of the national associations for innovation and development of the Mediterranean countries (Italy, Spain and Portugal) will take place this year in Naples to discuss the introduction of new technologies the State.

The goal is to outline common action plans for public administration at a time marked by major industrial and technological changes.

Despite considering that Portugal is "at the forefront" in the modernization of public services – notably in the tax or health area -, Isabel Furtado pointed out improvements.

"There is a lack of more citizens being able to access these services and […] that companies can use these same services and reduce their costs, namely in licensing, "he said in an interview with Lusa.

The Cotec Europe meetings have been organized alternately since 2005 in Portugal, Spain and Italy.

Cotec Portugal is the Portuguese business association for the promotion of innovation and technological cooperation. It covers multinationals, large groups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), representing more than 16% of national gross domestic product (GDP) and about 8% of private sector employment.

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