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The +60'30 project presents the next government with a plan to increase exports

The +60'30 project presents the next government with a plan to increase exports

The project is not particularly ambitious, but it should be put in the focus of ministries linked to the economy and companies: in 2030, 60% of GDP should come from exports.

More and better exports, with greater value added, increasing the economy's export base and diversifying markets – so that exports reach 60% of GDP by 2030. This was the initial goal of the 60'30+ project, led by the Portuguese. Business Association (AEP) and Novobanco – joined by APDL and Expresso.

To this end, the conclusions presented this afternoon, February 27, at the Leixeus cruise terminal, point to two basic guiding principles: the presence of public policies aimed at promoting exports by SMEs; and supporting the growth of the companies themselves – size matters in international business.

In general, regulators have identified three main pillars in the development framework aimed at increasing exports: innovation, human capital and investment. For Luis Miguel Ribeiro, Chairman of the Board of Directors of AEP, it is of great importance: only through innovation can goods with high added value be produced, premium products created or more efficient processes in manufacturing, promotion, distribution and marketing be designed. , He said. But this requires human capital and investment.

The long work resulted in a study that contained a (huge) series of recommendations to the government, whatever they may be, divided into those three main pillars. In a general context, “the industrial policy adopted by the government must prioritize science, technology and innovation. Public incentives for companies must be reflected in exports – with public policies rewarding innovative companies.”

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For the entities associated with the project, “it is necessary to modernize port infrastructure: logistics and supply chain management in ports should make export operations more efficient and profitable. It would be beneficial to adopt, in the funded projects, continuity policies that follow the time cycle of the innovation process for companies that value the design And implement innovations that make them more productive and competitive, but require a longer program.

“The creation of specific tax incentives for activities or products/services resulting from R&D activities is also advocated. Taxes on innovation startups should have their own taxes, covering the following: IRS deduction from founders' investments; lower corporate IRC Knowledge-intensive startups; IRS/SS reduction for highly qualified workers.

“Support to create business groups” is also essential. “Companies whose long-term business results from innovation or research and development can be excluded from the application of the Art. (Article 35 of the Commercial Companies Law (relating to technical bankruptcy upon consumption of half of the capital) as long as the company has the financial resources necessary to continue its activity).

“The current tax regime for foreigners should apply to employees of companies with more than 50% of revenues or investments originating outside Portugal, to encourage attracting and retaining talent, but also exports and attracting investment. For those still in the process Pre-seed or Seeds A similar system could be established within the first three years of its existence.”

The conclusions suggest that financial incentives can be extended not only to research that went well, but also to research that went wrong but generated expertise. On the other hand, “support and incentives should be limited to national companies (that have beneficial owners within the borders) in order to ensure that the profits from innovation benefit the Portuguese economy above all, thus strengthening the innovation ecosystem.”

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On the other hand, “public procurement can be used as a way to buy more small and medium-sized businesses. Public sector spending is significant, and allocating a small portion of this spending to SMEs and startups would help them grow. Public procurement can also enhance the focus on the innovation factor at the time of procurement, and not just consider the variables of quality and price.

For the plan's authors, “it is urgent to review IEFP training references whose competencies do not align with companies' needs. It has become increasingly urgent to adapt the vocational training programme. Reframe the outdated educational system: there are only scientific masters; Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees are highly formatted and do not respond to the labor market. It is necessary to reconsider the design of curricula that should serve society by establishing two-year academic training supplemented by six-month practical training in companies.

Tax incentives for active worker training, especially high-cost training (graduate degrees, MBAs, Ph.D.s), “will be an effective way to make this training an affordable investment for companies, which in turn will enhance onboarding and talent retention rates.”

In this context, “the tax burden on workers must be reduced. Taxes on overtime should be reconsidered (workers would rather keep a bank of hours than get paid for overtime).”

“The return of migrants must be supported: with the end of the non-accustomed residence regime, the return of Portuguese professionals abroad will be less encouraged. There is a need to make working times more flexible and, above all, obligatory breaks (workers must have the freedom to choose how to use their rest periods, For example)”.

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“It is necessary to reduce taxes on income from work, as a means of retaining talent, which is a prerequisite in many investment decisions. Reviewing taxes on bonuses, productivity and overtime would solve some of the daily problems of companies.

The recommendations submitted to the government are accompanied by a set of recommendations for the companies themselves, including the following: “Portuguese companies should try to reduce order delivery times as much as possible and, above all, it is necessary to adhere to delivery deadlines. Investment must be directed to areas with high impact.” : Research and development, control of distribution channels. We need to invest more in branding and marketing. Investing in establishing or acquiring subsidiaries in international markets can be a good strategy.