Taking advantage of the discussion that is taking place in Portugal about the developmental strategy for the country in the short, medium and long terms - which the Government promoted through the so-called “Costa Silva plan”, which aims to be a guide for the use of extraordinary community funds who will come to Portugal to respond to the challenges of the pandemic, environmental sustainability and the country's repositioning in the European and world ranking - I think that this strategy should be organized around a global logic: making Portugal a luxury country.
As we live in a globalized world, where the circulation of capital, companies, information and people is increasingly easy, Portugal needs to use its endemic and unreplicable characteristics as a differentiating factor and creating value.
This bet on luxury is not to be confused with the luxury sector. What I mean by Portugal becoming a luxury country is to become one of the countries with the highest standards of living in the world, that is, with a very high cost of living, but corresponding income, as in other luxury countries such as Switzerland or Luxembourg.
For that to happen, we have to be a capturer of international income that will then be distributed among nationals. And this is achieved if we make the most of our infungible resources. There is, in the world, no other country belonging to the European Union, with our climate, our history, our gastronomy, our peace, our social and political stability, our landscape, our hospitality, our size and our coast, in addition to having advanced legislation from the point of view of humanism.
This means that Portugal is already a good country to live in, and it can be even better if we manage to attract these international financial resources.
To put this strategy into practice, we have to sell Portugal as one of the best places in the world to live and visit, combining tourism with the destination of pensioners, a place for health treatments, a place of study and life for young people and companies in the sector. digital.
The cultural, geographical and landscape diversity that we have in our small territory (islands included), in addition to a central position in the geography of the West (halfway between New York and Moscow), makes us able to position ourselves as a unique country in the world .
Contrary to what we have done in the past, in which we bet on our low production costs as a factor of competitiveness - which means condemning ourselves to a low standard of living - we must exploit what is inimitable, charging monopolist prices.
However, in order for us not to become those countries where only the very rich foreigners live well, we would have to have a strong income redistribution policy. This is achieved by imposing minimum wages at the level of the richest countries, which means that all sectors of local services will charge high prices, which will serve to pay high wages (if good health, education and social security services are guaranteed to national policies, in addition to these high minimum wages, I would not be shocked by a policy of corporate fiscal competitiveness, although this may be ineffective in the medium term, due to international retaliation).
The only initial risk of this strategy would be the non-influx of foreigners and their income. However (after the pandemic is over), this risk is low. The unique qualities of our territory and our people, make us a perfect place to be. Let us become friendly and monopolistic “landlords” of our country, absorb international income and apply it to urbanism, health, education and technology and we will easily be the world's luxury destination.
The author writes according to the old spelling.