New Year “brings promise of new records in exports”

With the president telling the country in his New Year’s message on Monday that it was time for Portugal to reinvent itself, reports elsewhere suggest 2018 will set a new bar for national exports.

Paulo Nunes, president of AEP (the association of Portuguese businesses) has given an interview in which he said everything is pointing to exports representing 50% of GDP by 2025.

Sectors range from fruit and veg, to clothing, shoes, machinery, automobiles and ‘combustibles’, writes Dinheiro Vivo, stressing “there are plenty of clients. Only in October sales to foreign markets increased 11.8%, totalling five billion euros.

In the first 10 months of 2017, export income “went beyond €45 billion” – that’s 10.8% more than the same period in 2016 and, as the paper explains, before adding income from tourism to the tally. Once that is tagged on, we’re looking at 43% of GDP – well on the way to the 50% that business leaders and the government are aiming for by 2025.

Said Nunes: “As long as there are no surprises, I trust that exports, along with investment, will continue to be the motor that pushes the economy”.

Growth will be centred in the metal mechanic, textile and clothing, shoe, animal feed and property sectors, he said, as well as services – with tourism leading the way.

Data coming out of INE, the national statistics institute, “confirms the prognosis”, says Dinheiro Vivo, with metallurgy and metal mechanics particularly “breaking all records”.

Last October “the volume of exports was the third highest ever, close to 1.5 billion euros. The sector closed the year with sales abroad above 16 billion euros”.

Clothing “followed the same tendency”, and businesspeople “estimate that 2017 will have been Portugal’s best year ever with exports exceeding 5.2 billion euros”.

Cork too is on a roll, and the beauty of this sector is that the country doesn’t make any imports. It’s all plus points for the recovering economy.

Concluded Nunes, focus this year will be on international markets, and expectations are riding high. “We believe 2018 will be a good year”, he told Dinheiro Vivo.

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