IAPMEI boss shown the door in clean sweep
The President of Portugal’s Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (IAPMEI) has been forced to resign in the latest clean sweep involving government entities linked to the Ministry of the Economy.
Francisco Sá, who had been in the job since February 2021, presented his resignation on Wednesday (Jan 25) and will be replaced by Luís Filipe Pratas Guerreiro who until now had been an adjunct at the Ministry of the Economy.
According to Jornal de Negócios which broke the news, the resignation was “forced” by the Minister of the Economy, António Costa Silva as preparation for a “clean sweep” of the administration at IAPMEI.
IAPMEI is a government entity which supports Small and Medium businesses, helping them to boost competitiveness and business growth, covering all fields except tourism. It is particularly active in helping startups and overseas companies relocate or set up offices in the country, assisting in areas such as Business Assistance, Business Financing and Qualification and Certification.
The new man at the helm not only has links with the Ministry of the Economy but had worked as a manager on projects at Partex Oil and Gas, a private company founded by the oil tycoon Calouste Gulbenkian in 1938, but in more recent years was managed by the current Minster of the Economy, António Costa Silva between 2003 and 2021.
In July 2022 applicants were invited to compete for the job running IAPMEI at the request of the then Secretary of State for the Economy, João Neves, but he too left the ministry.
IAPMEI is the last government entity to be reorganised after Minister Costa Silva reshuffled several secretaries of State and the senior management at Portugal’s publicly owned investment bank Banco de Fomento.
In an interview published today in Expresso newspaper, the Minister for the Economy says: “I was giving IAPMEI a lot of thought. Dr. Francisco Sá has done a great job. But it is important that we shakeup our organisations and make them more dynamic. Sometimes turning over a new leaf is very important”.