By: CHRIS GRAEME
SEVEN PORTUGUESE companies have been honoured by the British Embassy in Lisbon as models of successful and innovative cutting-edge enterprise.
All of the companies, which operate in the British market, were awarded the COTEC Awards on Wednesday, February 27, at an investment lunch Celebrating & Supporting Portuguese Business in the UK hosted by the British Ambassador to Portugal, Alex Ellis, at his residence in Ajuda.
They were Movensis (Research and Development Collaboration Award), WeDo Technologies (Successful Business Expansion Award), Primeware, ATX Software, Quidgest and Selfenergy (Business Internationalisation Award) and Logoplaste (Special Investor Recognition Award).
The awards recognised a new breed of highly innovative and creative Portuguese entrepreneurs who have successfully invested in the competitive environment of the British economy.
Above all, these investors not only show the spirit of transparent and friendly cooperation between the UK and Portugal, but also display Portugal’s ability to translate the idea of technology and innovation into reality. These Portuguese companies also show that they can be competitive, original and successfully conquer even the toughest-to-crack foreign markets.
The COTEC Awards also amply demonstrate that the UK recognises and rewards companies that are prepared to invest there, generating income and employment. Many of these companies are small outfits with a small number of employees, companies that are relatively unknown within Portugal itself.
What is it about Portugal and its socio-political climate and economic models that still strangle and stifle the entrepreneurial spirit, forcing many companies to take their ideas abroad?
Filipe Botton, the vice president of Logoplaste, is one such entrepreneurial spirit who has flourished in the United Kingdom. His rigid plastic packaging and bottles are sold all over the world to some of the most important food companies. His business plan was well received by investors and the company benefited from not having to pay business tax for five years.
Alex Ellis said these award winning companies were examples of “economic diplomacy” at the highest level.
Almost five million Portuguese currently live outside Portugal and many have been extremely successful in becoming role models in business for the countries in which they live and operate.
Yet Portugal and its small and medium-sized companies have found difficulty in translating that success here at home.
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