Portuguese SMEs employ more than three-quarters of the national work force – Jornal Econômico

Portuguese SMEs employ more than three-quarters of the national work force - Jornal Econômico

Portugal, the country of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), continues to be so, but it has to simplify their lives. The message is given by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), outlook of 2019 on entrepreneurship, released this Monday. In 2016 [últimos dados disponíveis], Portuguese SMEs contributed about two-thirds of the country's added value – generating € 52.5 billion – and employed more than three-quarters of the national workforce (2.4 million people), according to this report.

The international organization says that Portugal has made "great efforts" to simplify administrative and licensing procedures for SMEs (notably through property tax benefits, reinvested profits or capital remuneration), but points out that there is still a way to go in this direction, which does not just pass through corporate tax cuts.

"The time to start a business and transfer a property was reduced to one day. However, there is scope for improvement, since procedures in Portugal remain more complex than the OECD median, "read the report"SME and Entrepreneurship Outlook 2019"Which also highlights the" dynamic "ecosystem of startups in the country.

Regarding risk capital, there was a partial recovery in 2017 (33% higher), after a decline in these investments in the previous year. This is because, for example, the government has given high priority to guarantees of SME access to finance, according to the OECD. Only in those two years, the proportion of guaranteed loans increased from EUR 5.7 billion to EUR 6.1 billion.

Across the OECD, SMEs account for about 60% of employment and 50-60% of value added. According to the authors of the paper, these companies are "key actors" to build more inclusive and sustainable growth, increase economic resilience and improve social cohesion. However, there is an unconvincing: wages. The fact is that even the largest SMEs tend to pay their workers about 20% less than the large ones.

Density of SMEs by sector (*% employment in 2016)

Source: OECD Demographic and Structural Statistical Database (2018)

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