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Ponta Delgada ,  December 04, 2018

Regional Government implements four new programmes to strengthen competitiveness of companies

The Vice-President of the Government highlighted the importance of four new programmes for regional companies. According to him, these programmes, associated with the creation of the "Azores Digital Cluster," are "essential for greater economic growth," through the creation of innovative support to strengthen the competitiveness of the regional business fabric.
"Further consolidating our economy involves, besides the existing measures, the presentation of new measures to respond to new challenges," said Sérgio Ávila, who spoke Monday at the presentation of "The 100 Largest Companies of the Azores - 2017" magazine.
Accordingly, the Regional Government will change the Competir + incentive system and "increase the non-reimbursable support for eligible expenses in the context of technological innovation, with special emphasis on the dematerialisation of processes and industry 4.0."
Sérgio Ávila stressed that this measure aims to "increase the support for companies wishing to innovate from a technological standpoint" and strengthen "their integration in an increasingly global and competitive world."
The second programme implemented by the Regional Government aims to encourage entrepreneurship among students in the final stage of their university studies as well as to promote the application of knowledge and the creation of new companies based on research.
"We will create the University StartUp programme in order to establish an interconnection between the students who are completing their studies and the researchers" working at the University of the Azores. Hence, the "knowledge from research will be applied" and contribute to the "creation of new companies in which research is a fundamental part of their competitiveness," said Sérgio Ávila.
"The third fundamental line of the new challenges is what we call the StartUp Challenge," being primarily intended to "create conditions for new startups to have a more consolidated market," said the government official.
The Vice-President defended the need to "combine and support the provision of innovative services by these [new] companies to traditional companies." The latter are less keen on some areas, such as "perceiving new consumer habits and new access technologies and promoting their products."
"A fourth key vector is undoubtedly the new Export Azores programme," said Sérgio Ávila. Despite the "widespread appreciation" of Azorean products and the growth of regional production through the Azores brand, "it is important to do more and better."
The Vice-President added that this programme "will increase the support for all exporting companies" in the so-called competitiveness factors, "whether in the knowledge of new markets or the improvement of its commercial component" or even in investments for that purpose.
If the development of a digital cluster in the Azores is associated with these four new measures, "the essential components are being created so that - improving all existing support programmes for investment, employment and job creation - Azorean companies may overcome new challenges," said Sérgio Ávila.
The government official also stressed that new programmes will be implemented in 2019 to support the hiring of workers by companies as well as a training programme for active workers.
In his speech, the Vice-President stated that "The 100 Largest Companies in the Azores," an initiative promoted by Açormedia on an annual basis that, besides from publishing the ranking, also distinguishes the performance of companies, entrepreneurs and investment projects. According to him, it "summarises the efforts, the accomplishments and, namely, the entrepreneurial capacity of Azorean companies and entrepreneurs over the last year.
"2017 was undoubtedly a year that consolidated the recovery of our economic activity, taking into consideration all the existing macroeconomic indicators, either they be production indicators or income indicators or consumption indicators," said Sérgio Ávila.
"The sharp growth of all these indicators means that the Gross Domestic Product has surpassed, for the first time, four billion Euros," added Sérgio Ávila.
According to the government official, the "unprecedented" private investment in the Region was the decisive factor in this economic growth as far as more than 1,000 projects have already been submitted under the Competir + incentive system. They represent a 440 million Euros of new private investments and more than 2,300 new direct jobs.
The Vice-president also revealed that 85% of the 440 million-Euro investment were submitted under the Subsystem for the Promotion of Exports, comprising various sectors such as "tourism, new technologies, the agroindustrial sector and the production of tradable goods and services."


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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