Economic recovery ‘more advanced’ than was expected – minister

Page created: Wednesday, 12 March 2014 14:17 GMT

Economic Recovery  GDP Growth

Portugal’s economy has made more progress in recovering than was expected, despite the challenges it still faces, a leading government minister said on Wednesday.
“We’re optimistic despite the challenges that remain ahead,” the minister for regional development, Miguel Poiares Maduro, told an audience in Madrid. “We have travelled an important road, which is more advanced than we thought we would be at this moment.”

Maduro was speaking at a working breakfast organised by the Spanish-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, with some 30 executives. In his talk, he cited the reduction in the budget deficit, the achievement of the first current account surplus in 40 years, and a surplus in trade in goods and services.
All this, he said, shows that “the economic recovery is related to structural changes in the economy.”

With its reforms, he argued, the right-of-centre government is changing the perception abroad of Portugal, which “is once more a credible country in Europe … that is in a position to be able to mediate between various positions” such as more budgetary discipline or the promotion of economic growth.

However, the minister stressed that the end of Portugal’s euro-zone bailout in May “does not mean the end of budgetary discipline, but a new cycle in which the priority of priorities has to be the return of investment” through the use of European Union funds and further internationalisation of the economy.