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Forming new business partnerships can help Portuguese SMEs recover

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The European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani is traveling to Lisbon with Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director-General of DG Enterprise and SME Envoy, to help Portuguese SMEs emerge from the downturn and help kick-start the Portuguese economy.

Portugal was among the European countries worst hit by the economic crisis, but it has recently started to show signs of recovery. To help Portuguese SMEs emerge from the downturn and help kick-start the Portuguese economy, the European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani is traveling to Lisbon  with Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director-General of DG Enterprise and SME Envoy. They will be accompanied by representatives of about 150 European companies, who will participate in more than 1800 bilateral meetings with Portuguese SMEs to form new partnerships and discuss opportunities for collaboration in key sectors of the Portuguese economy such as tourism, agriculture and the economy of the sea.

Strategy for growth

An important part of this visit will be the Europe 2020 strategy for growth conference which the Vice President will open together with the Portuguese Vice Prime Minister, Paulo Portas. Issues discussed will include internationalisation of SMEs, key enabling technologies as well as access to finance which continues to be one of the main obstacles to growth in many southern European countries. The Vice President will use this opportunity to introduce COSME, a new € 2.3 billion program for SMEs which aims to address the main challenges they are currently facing, such as access to financing, access to foreign markets, improvement of the business environment and support to entrepreneurs. Among other things, this program will help EU enterprises, including the ones in Portugal, deal with the current credit crunch by enabling them to receive more than 22 billion euros in secured loans over the next seven years.

Central to this visit, hosted by the Portuguese Trade & Investment Agency “AICEP Portugal Global”, will be the business to business networking event which will take place on November 29th. The aim of the event is to promote business partnerships between Portuguese and other EU companies, but also with other non-European countries in sectors identified as key contributors to achieving growth in Portugal.

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