By: Natasha Smith
AROUND 80 people recently attended an open meeting organised by the women’s business association, Network, at Hotel Montechoro. Civil Governor Dr. António Pina and Jay Conboy from the academic office of research and marketing, GAIM, were invited to speak about their jobs and contribution to the Algarve.
Dr Pina’s obligations, as a liaison between the region and the central government, include being a representative for the Socialist government in the Algarve. He is responsible for looking after the public servants and ensuring public safety by coordinating with the GNR and the PSP. He said that he was proud of the fact that the Algarve continues to be one of the safest tourist regions in Europe, which is why so many foreigners choose to live in the region.
To improve social protection, he coordinates with airports and hospitals and notifies central government where funds are most needed.
As tourism is one of the Algarve’s major assets, he meets with businesses which are interested in constructing golf courses, marinas and hotels among other structures.
Dr Pina discussed the fragile state of the economy and justified certain unpopular decisions and policies, which have been implemented, such as the closure of some of the 24-hour medical centres (SAP). Like the medical centres, schools were also closing for the same reason. The goal is to centralise staff and equipment resources in higher density areas.
Because of certain decisions, the national public deficit has fallen from 6.8 per cent to 3.6 per cent this year, but he admitted that unemployment figures had risen as a result.
Pina criticised the EU for cutting funds because Portugal is now considered to be a wealthier country. The average rate was lowered when poorer countries in the east were inducted into the EU.
“The future is conservation,” according to Dr Pina and there will be even greater focus on renewable energy sources and environmental protection.
For the many business people in the room, Jay Conboy offered an insight into the research that is conducted by GAIM across the Algarve.
GAIM offers marketing research, seminars, congresses, human resources and database and economic advice. Conboy discussed some of the studies that had been conducted, which had been commissioned by both private and public administrations.
One study, commissioned by the Almancil Business Association (AEA), concluded that the town of Almancil lacked a community atmosphere, which is central to the ideology of life, tourism and business. According to the study, more leisure and culture is desired by residents in Almancil. The models that were discussed for Almancil can be applied to many areas of the Algarve, where there is a lack of diversity. More emphasis should be placed on the permanent residents, who generate capital for the area all year round and who are investing in the Algarve community.
Network administrators said the event was a huge success and were pleased with the attendance, while adding that next year would be better than ever.
If you would like to become a member of Network, telephone or fax 282 415 843 or email [email protected]
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