By: CHRIS GRAEME
IT WAS Portugal’s small and medium enterprises (SME) that walked away with the gongs at this year’s Portuguese-French Chamber of Commerce Trophy Awards in Lisbon last week.
Recer, which produces porcelain glazes and coverings, won the trophy for ‘Best Portuguese Exporter’ with its 800 clients, 48 per cent international turnover and a sales volume of 27 million euros.
The trophy for ‘Exports to France’ was taken by Aromatech, a food company which makes natural, biological and artificial flavourings and additives for food and which has production units in six markets.
The ‘Investment’ trophy was carried home by BNP Paribas for offering the best possible service to its clients through advanced technology and competitive services.
The ‘SME’ trophy was won by Aquatlantis, a company which specialises in aquariums and products and equipment for tropical and marine fish aficionados. The company exports almost half of its business to France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom, while its business volume grew 10 per cent in 2007 and it supplies 125,000 aquariums all over the world.
The ‘Sustainable Development’ trophy was swept away by coffee company Novadelta, which, for some years, has been implanting an environmental management system and, in 2007, developed the ‘Planet Delta Project’ to make people aware of climate change. The organisation also distributed 100,000 energy-saving light bulbs to clients in a bid to raise consciousness to the planet’s environmental problems. In the bio-diversity area, the coffee producer based in Campo Maior has signed several agreements with institutes and secured a university partnership for investigation.
At the gala dinner at the Pestana Carlton Hotel on Tuesday last week, attended by the Secretary of State for Innovation and Industry, António Castro Guerra, the French Ambassador to Portugal, Denis Delbourg, and the president of the Portuguese-French Chamber of Commerce (Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie Luso-Française – CCILF), Bernard Chantrelle, the latter said that Portugal’s commercial balance of payments with France, worth 682 million euros, showed “a tendency for stability in the first half of the year” but had been “affected by the slowing French economy”.
“The negative balance between Portugal and France in the first half of 2008 shows a tendency for stability; it is a question which has to do with the purchase of Airbus planes by TAP,” said Bernard Chantelle, who added that the commercial deficit between the two countries “had been affected, but not severely, by the shrinking French economy”.
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