Foreign residents are welcome in Lagoa.jpg

Foreign residents are welcome in Lagoa


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FOREIGN RESIDENTS are very important to the Algarve and they are very welcome in the district, says Lagoa Câmara President, José Inácio Eduardo.

The head of the local council, who is 52, also strongly believes that the region “needs urgent public investment in infra-structural areas like roads, transport and communications” in order to progress.

“We have been systematically overlooked in the government’s priorities because there is this silly idea that the western Algarve is a very rich region and, therefore, it doesn’t need public investment,” he told The Resident in an exclusive interview last week in his office at Lagoa Câmara.

According to the Lagoa Mayor, “the Algarve region is a strong contributor to the country but lacks political influence because it has only eight MPs in the national parliament”. That, he says, is why he now supports the proposed re-organisation of the country’s administrative regions, despite having previously been opposed to the idea, and even says that “it is fundamental” for the Algarve’s competitiveness in the international market.

“A regional administrative re-organisation of the country would result in a more efficient and productive public service,” he says, adding that, through that model, the Algarve region “would be able to take the adequate decisions in line with a regional growing strategy and not be dependent on the Lisbon official cabinets for each minor decision”.

Regarding major infrastructure investments, José Inácio identifies the rail line as a major priority, saying it has been around in its present state for more than 100 years and has not had any serious modernisation works. “I cannot understand how the country is planning a TGV connection to Spain and then has rail tracks that are obsolete.”

He also believes that making the Arade river more navigable is another vital project, so that bigger cruisers can access the riverside areas currently being developed, as well as a new bridge connecting Lagoa and Portimão.

The Ferragudo dockside, which is expected to start construction work before the end of 2008, is another important project, says José Inácio, as he believes Portugal is still lacking in places for boats to seek shelter along its coastline.

Business boost

The Lagoa Mayor also sees the development of the Odelouca dam as “a conquest of the western region”, with the quality and quantity of water being one of the most important items for the tourism sector.

The western medium sized airport planned for Portimão aerodrome is another urgent strategic investment that will boost business in the region, he says, since it will create another alternative for small airplanes.

“Despite being a very dynamic region, unfortunately the Algarve is still not able to play host to as many companies as it would desire. The headquarters are being kept in overpopulated Lisbon or outside the country,” he said.

To attract more business to the Lagoa region, the local president says it is important to keep a strong connection with the business community, including the expatriates who have companies in the region. “I find the organisational and commercial competence of many expats companies working in our district admirable,” he said.

In fact, the Lagoa Câmara President says the foreign residents, in general, are one of the district’s major competitive advantages. “The way they network helps the international promotion of the region and provides many interesting services to Lagoa,” he says.

Another important aspect is that they pay their taxes, contributing to the region’s progress, contrary to many big companies that only keep branches in the area.


On real estate development, Lagoa Câmara plans to grow in quality, having new projects already approved for Ferragudo, Porches and Mexilhoeira/Estombar, two of them with a PIN classification, which means they are considered of national interest.

Although Lagoa was always seen as a dormitory area for people working in Portimão, José Inácio does not fear this classification, because, he says, “many dormitory cities in the world have very wealthy people living in it” and that can also be the case for Lagoa.

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