The Business Association of Portugal (AEP) was analyzing the PNI, the National Investment Program 2030 recently presented and hopes that “these public investments now announced will be assumed by the Government and political parties as a commitment, ensuring that these projects do not extend to the time or end up not leaving the forum of intentions ”.
The association led by Luís Miguel Ribeiro considers that the PNI “meets the strategic objectives that AEP defends for the country: improving connectivity (national and international); improving competitiveness; cohesion and enhancement of territories; and environmental sustainability ”. The association says that the program's investments are sufficiently important to "have a knock-on effect on the economy, particularly in the construction sector, but it is necessary to ensure that they actually materialize".
But, more than its implementation, AEP also advocates a high degree of national incorporation, the only way to leverage the recovery of the economy and companies: “in order to have a stronger impact on economic activity, the criteria in public procurement should privilege formulations that ensure, in relation to the goods and services to be purchased by the State, a high degree of national incorporation ”.
In a statement, AEP warns of the need for these commitments to be greater than a legislature and recalls that, “in fact, we have already had several advertisements for works that never materialized”.
Therefore, “as the AEP has been emphasizing (namely in the recent assessment it made to António Costa Silva's document 'Strategic Vision for the Portugal 2020-2030 Economic Recovery Plan'), it is crucial for the implementation of a strategy of medium and long term investment that does not depend on the parties that govern at the time ”.
In this sense, there needs to be a 'regime agreement', which prevents setbacks in projects of a strategic nature for the country, says the AEP - knowing for sure how difficult these agreements are, not only to conclude them, but even for the maintain when the protagonists change and, apparently, do not feel covered by the signatures of their predecessors.
Regarding project decisions, “it is important to involve a cost-benefit analysis beforehand. This analysis gains even more relevance in a context very conditioned by the pre-existing structural imbalances, as is the case of the high indebtedness of the Portuguese economy ”, concludes the employers' association.