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"E-Commerce, e-health and Digital Invoices systems my priorities to sustain Portuguese economy"
Antonio Murta, Digital Champion of Portugal, Managing Partner and co-founder of Pathena, describes himself as "newcomer" in the world of public policy, and he is determined to bring his pragmatic and proactive approach to the Digital Agenda.
"The Portuguese economy needs to recover and it needs to balance its commercial account", he says.
"The only way this can be achieved is through increasing exports, both digital and non-digital. My objective is to facilitate growth at 20% rate every year in the coming years. To do so, it is crucial to bring those sectors and those companies that are not entirely benefiting yet from the digital technology into the digital world. E-Commerce has proved to be an incredibly effective tool to enhance sales performance, especially of smaller businesses".
How can the Digital Agenda help in fighting the weaknesses of the Portuguese economy?
"One of the fields in which ICT can be really successful is the fight against the black economy. In Portugal the hidden economy is estimated to be 26% of the country's GDP. The digital invoice system, just to give an example, could be a cheap way to combat this parallel economy. In Italy for example, a cutting-edge digital system has recently been implemented to check the consistency between income declarations and actual purchasing power. Such systems could be a good solution for Portugal as well".
In which fields do you see the highest potential for ICT in the Portuguese economy?
"The number of applications of ICT and digital technologies in a modern economy is virtually unlimited. At the top of my agenda I have put health, education and entrepreneurship. I am working on a unique public health data platform for all citizens and I am investing in innovative platforms for online universities. Finally, I want to sustain entrepreneurship through public venture capital.
If you had to name just one task you would like to accomplish by 31 December 2014, what would it be?
"I see the fight against the parallel economy through digitalization as the most urgent thing to do. I would like bring the percentage of this "hidden" economy in Portugal from 26% to 20% by the end of next year".