Exports to equal imports by 2025 says minister

 In News, Trade

The Portuguese economy minister has stated over the weekend that exports will continue to close the gap against imports.

In an interview with the economy newspaper Jornal Económico, the Economy Minister Pedro Siza Vieira said that Portugal was on target to achieve 50% of GDP from exports by the middle of the next decade.
“I am convinced that our exports will continue to grow more than our imports. In our internationalisation strategy for the Portuguese economy we have defined an objective to achieve exports worth 50% of GDP by the middle of the next decade,” he said.
“In its last forecast the Bank of Portugal (BdP) stated that we will probably achieve this goal by 2021. I don’t want to commit to any specific forecast, but I do think that we could achieve this goal by the first half of the next decade” the minister added.
Pedro Siza Vieira outlined the upward trajectory of Portuguese exports. “Ten years ago Portuguese exports represented 20% of our economy. Now they represent 45%. At this rate of growth we could attain this goal which 20 years ago would have been unthinkable,” he said.
The minister said that three years ago, for each €1000 of exports to the European Union, only €7 were from Portugal. Today that figure has reached €9.3, which means that Portuguese companies have increased their EU market share”, he said.
“I am convinced that our exports will continue to grow more than demand for imports. I can see many examples of best business practices, innovation, much investment that is now being achieved and all aimed at the export market.”
The minister downplayed forecasts from the Bank of Portugal and the IMF which warn that Portugal would register a balance of payments deficit for goods and services for the first time in nine years, preferring to stress that of all the forecasts made over the past four years, the ones that had proved most accurate were the forecasts from the government.
“We’re seeing significant development of our engineering centres and applications and software development. We can see, for example, investments from BMW, Volkswagen and Mercedes which have set up their software centres for cars and lorries here in Portugal.
“We can see companies like Cisco, BNP Paribas and a string of technology companies bringing their Artificial Intelligence systems here from where they will sell all over the world. These are examples of service exports. The flux of foreign and national investment that we’re seeing now is very directed to external markets,” he concluded.