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Congress "Business Portugal"

Industry and Sustainability Challenges under Discussion

The "Business Portugal", a congress promoted by AEP - Associação Empresarial de Portugal, with the support of the Matosinhos City Hall, took place on Friday, at Exponor, fostering the debate of themes focused on the industry and sustainability challenges, with the aim of Portugal's competitiveness as a priority focus.

Based on the proposals made by AEP, namely for reindustrialization, the event covered the discussion of public policies, demography, the digital, climate and energy transitions, innovation and competitiveness.

Inserted in the programming of the "Companies Month", an initiative promoted by the Matosinhos City Hall from September 14 to October 14 with several actions aimed at boosting the business sector, the event was attended by over 250 congressmen and participants of the different panels, from companies, universities, public and private decision-makers, debated until late afternoon their vision on trends and the future.

The congress was opened by the president of AEP, Luís Miguel Ribeiro, and the mayor of Matosinhos, Luísa Salgueiro.

Luisa Salgueiro started by revealing the particular pleasure she feels for returning to Exponor's auditorium for another great AEP event. The Mayor highlighted the role of Exponor, the largest fair and congress venue in Portugal.

"Exponor is a symbol that projects our economy and our companies," she said. "It is a fundamental stage for our economy. It is the home of our economy, the home of our companies."

Luisa Salgueiro spoke about the multidimensional challenge for the country, in general, and Matosinhos, in particular, when facing the pandemic crisis, the war in Ukraine, the high levels of inflation and interest rates, among many other indicators, referring to the positioning of Matosinhos with a privileged network of connections, good road and highway access, the 2nd largest airport in the country, the good relationship with the Atlantic Front cities of Porto and Gaia, as well as with Póvoa de Varzim and Vila do Conde or its partners in Galicia.

The mayor also referred to several projects developed or under development that mark the prominent position of Matosinhos in the northern region, such as the involvement in the decarbonization process of the municipality and in multiple projects related to environmental sustainability and the sea economy, the membership of the Covenant of Mayors and the Bluact network, the mobilizing agendas, but also the protection of traditional sectors and, simultaneously, the promotion of new industries and companies, valuing and protecting the environmental sustainability of the municipality, the creation of the investor support office to facilitate the relationship of companies with the municipality, among many others.

"The adversities are many, the winds unthinkable, the tides unpredictable," stressed Luisa Salgueiro. We want to be side by side with partners such as the AEP, the companies, and their associates. We want to be facilitators of development. Count on us," she concluded.

This was followed by Paulo Portas' speech on the perspectives of the changing geopolitical scenario. Throughout the afternoon two panels addressed the themes "The Challenge of Reindustrialization: Competitiveness - Innovation - Productivity"; and "The Challenge of Sustainability: Circular Economy - Energy Transition - Demography". José Manuel Félix Ribeiro also promoted reflection around the theme "sustainability: change of economic and social paradigm".

The closing session was in charge of Francisco Assis, CES President, Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms and António Costa Silva, Minister of Economy and Sea.

The Congress culminated with a cocktail party, dinner and prize-giving to entrepreneurs and companies with the presence of the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.


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