The President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, promoted cross-border cooperation and energy interconnections in Europe, during a business meeting at the Confederation of Employers and Industries of Spain (CEOE), which was attended by more than 300 businessmen from both countries.

President Rebelo de Sousa also stressed the importance of adapting to the era of digitalization, saying that companies are starting to work with this process in mind, a clear example of this being startups, and academic centres should do so too. He emphasized that business cooperation should go hand in hand with scientific and technological cooperation.

Cross-border cooperation and in third markets
The President reported that the coming months will be decisive for Europe, since decisions must be taken to consolidate and reinforce European projects, such as reaching the Multi-Annual Financial Agreement or achieving the Banking and Monetary Union, which are essential for the countries in the union. In this context, he advocated taking advantage of the energy interconnections with France and promoting the Mediterranean dialogue. He pointed out that “we have to go further, outside Europe, to Latin America and Africa, to reach a more open and integrated world, which increasingly encourages the internationalization of our companies”.

Bilateral relations
The Minister of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Román Escolano highlighted the importance of Portugal for Spain as its eighth destination for investment. In addition, the minister highlighted that both countries have grown above 3 per cent of GDP in 2017 and have reduced their unemployment rate, thanks to the reforms undertaken. “We must work together to integrate both markets and cooperate on issues of common interest such as research, development, technology or the Mercosur agreement,” he said.

The Minister encouraged the completion of the Banking Union and announced that a package of measures aimed at this end will be presented in June, as well as the stabilization of the euro area.

Support for Europe
The president of CEPYME and vice president of CEOE stressed that Spain and Portugal, whose economies are in full expansion, after having experienced a severe crisis, are once again facing their future in the European Union and in the world with confidence. He expressed full support for the euro and advocated a deepening of the Banking and Monetary Union. He considered it essential for the EU to support and strengthen growth policies and investment plans, such as the Juncker Investment Plan, which better link the single market through the development of transport, energy and cross-border telecommunications infrastructures.

Translated and extracted from Spanish

Source: CEOE