Business association boss alerts: “We must remain vigilant”
With the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic now behind us, businesses in the Algarve are looking to the future with hope but also caution.
“There are signs of recovery, but we must remain vigilant,” the president of Algarve business association NERA told Lusa news agency.
Vítor Neto said the region’s economy has recovered well in the last four months and there are “good signs” that it could reach the same levels registered before the start of the pandemic.
“It was worth it to have resisted and now be able to face the future with more confidence,” he said, praising the government for measures during the pandemic such as its lay-off scheme, which helped businesses and their employees ‘stay afloat’ during the hardest times.
However, “there is still a lot to do,” Neto alerted.
Short-term concerns include the impact of the war in Ukraine, which has seen inflation skyrocket and impact fuel and electricity prices.
While the war has often been described as “less impactful” for Portugal (strictly in terms of tourism due to its geographical location, potentially attracting holidaymakers who would usually travel to countries nearer Ukraine), Neto warned that the conflict could still have unexpected consequences on the sector.
“We must insist with authorities and the government to take measures and prepare for the future, namely investing in renewable energies,” said the association boss.
However, the responsibility to become more environmentally sustainable does not lie solely on the government’s shoulders, he said, adding that companies must also act.
Neto also said that the growing shortage of workers must be addressed, as it is an issue that affects all sectors across Portugal.