Prime minister António Costa echoed feelings throughout Europe today when he told Rádio Renascença that the first major economic lesson of this pandemic is that we must all reduce dependence on imports from China.
This is the moment for “Europe and Portugal to position themselves to return to producing much of what we have been habitually importing”, he said.
It is the “greatest decision that we have to make. Today we cannot have such extensive supply chains that are so dependent on one country”.
“It’s a major lesson”, said the prime minister as politicians in so many countries were giving much the same message,
What these last few weeks have shown is that Portugal “has the capacity to produce” all manner of items that it simply hadn’t thought of producing, said Mr Costa – listing ‘masks, visors, surgical scrubs, items of personal protection’.
This doesn’t mean the country should reduce its export markets, just that it should diversify more.
What has happened (with Covid-19) has been “a global shock in every part of the economy”, but we can learn from it.
“We mustn’t go back” to the way things were before, stressed Mr Costa.