Companies encouraged to contribute towards the 2012 Olympics

THERE ARE bags of investment opportunities for Portuguese companies in London in the run-up for the 2012 Olympics, says British Ambassador Alex Ellis.

“It is a great moment for highly-qualified Portuguese companies in a number of areas from civil construction, telecommunications to information and high technologies to compete for contracts for the Olympic project,” he said at a meeting with the Portuguese business development agency, AICEP Portugal Global, Agência para o Investimento e Comércio de Portugal, last week.

The ambassador was speaking after a presentation to 80 leading Portuguese businessmen about opportunities presented for foreign companies to help set up the Olympic Games.

He said Portuguese companies had wide experience in certain fields, particularly in staging world-class events such as Expo 98 and the UEFA Euro Football Championships 2004, a body of experience that could be useful in preparing for the Olympic Games in London.

He stressed it was a fantastic opportunity to bid for contracts either with other Portuguese companies or with British companies in what was one of the biggest economies in Europe. There were, he said, “75,000 contracts to close” worth 12 billion euros in terms of investment.

Stressing the importance of “open economies”, Alex Ellis said both Portugal and the UK were springboards for internationalisation in Angola, Brazil and India while both countries had considerable know-how in urban regeneration projects (Expo and the Docklands) and added that the embassy’s UKTI team had considerable success in putting together the right people, while UK companies didn’t “have credibility problems with Portuguese companies”.

Basílio Horta, president of AICEP Portugal Global, said that both the Olympic Games and Paralympics of 2012 “provided a great opportunity for Portuguese companies, which were particularly qualified, to provide a very positive contribution to the event”.

These were mainly civil construction and civil engineering companies as well as those in telecommunications and security – all representing a large group of companies with wide experience both nationally and internationally in countries such as Angola, Dubai, and Eastern European countries.

At the same time, there was another opportunity directly linked to the project which was the possibility for Portuguese companies to participate and invest in one of the largest economies in the world – one of the countries that most attracted foreign investment in the world, working together with English companies on projects which could go far beyond the Olympic Games.

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