OECD director calls for structural reforms
The director of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Álvaro Santos Pereira says that Portugal must continue on the path to structural reform in order to grow and enjoy similar levels of growth seen in Eastern Europe.
Speaking in an interview with Portuguese television RTP, the former minister for the Economy and current director of the OECD’s Department of Country Surveys, economist Álvaro Santos Pereira said that Portugal has the second lowest public investment rate in the OECD and urgently needs more investment in railway infrastructure and services.
On Thursday, the OECD published new forecasts for the world economy and the economies for those countries that are members of the OECD, including Portugal.
Regarding the Portuguese economy, the organisation led by José Angél Gurría anticipates that the economy will grow 1.9% this year (the same estimate as that of the Government and the main international institutions), but say it will slow down in 2020 and 2021 by a 10th of a percent per year.
In a comment made to RTP from Paris where the OECD has its headquarters, Álvaro Santos Pereira explained that the contraction of the Portuguese economy is being affected by the international situation against a backdrop which forecasts that the world economy will have the “lowest world economic growth rates since the International crisis”.
“If Portugal is growing close to 2% it is because for some years we undertook important structural reforms which set free economic growth, kick-started the economy and brought unemployment down from 18% to 6%. What we have to do is to return to making more structural reforms.”
Santos Pereira said, “Obviously the Portuguese economy, as an open economy, is affected by the international economic situation and we predict that this year we will have growth of 1.9% for 2019, 1.8% for 2020 and 1.7% for 2022”.
He said the OECD believed that Portugal had to return to structural reforms — a policy he had argued for during the PSD/CDS government for which he was the minister of the Economy, a policy that the government of António Costa had politically rejected — which would enable increased productivity in the Portuguese economy and allow it to grow to the level of the Eastern European economies.