Economy minister Pedro Siza Vieira

Portugal’s ‘Development Bank’ to be ready to manage EU funds by ‘end of year’

Portugal’s ‘Development Bank’ (Banco Português do Fomento, BPF) should be up and running by the end of the year.

Approved by Europe as a vehicle to promote economic growth, Pedro Siza Vieira, Portugal’s minister of State, economy and digital transition has told Lusa it will be “a protagonist in what will be the very important funding needs that we will have next year to support the recovery process which we want to be very vigorous”.

The BPF is in fact a merger of the State’s existing Development Finance Institution (IFD), the SPGM (Portuguese Mutual Guarantee System) and PME Investimentos – an institution that funds small and medium-sized enterprises.

The new bank will “make it possible to serve the Portuguese economy in a more efficient and coordinated way”, says Vieira da Silva, and “make more resources available to support the financing of the economy at this crucial time”.

The government’s idea is to “involve BPF either in directly financing companies or get it ever more involved as a national ‘green’ bank – financing projects and initiatives aimed at decarbonisation of the economy and energy transition, as well as with a focus on a broad geographical spread of economic development”, explains ECO online.

Indeed Siza Vieira explained that he hoped the bank could also make up for the ‘lack of financial solutions’ for very long-term projects, in the ecological, digital and innovation sectors.

As to the bank’s capital, this will be ‘assessed’ and led to a certain extent by the Bank of Portugal – the new governor of which only recently left the Socialist government.

Remarking this week on the money due to flood into Portugal from the EU over the next few years (click here), former Portuguese prime minister and president of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso said it wasn’t so much a ‘pipa de massa’ (roughly translated as ‘barrel-load of money’), but more of a ‘financial orgy’.

Durão Barroso has been defending the creation of a parliamentary commission “to accompany the application and execution of European funds in Portugal”, saying that governments “can only gain through greater transparency”.

[email protected]