Portugal’s government is pumping a further €341 million into investment incentive schemes for small and medium-sized enterprises, saying that the 11,500 applications it had received by the end of 2013 “greatly exceeded initial expectations” and were yet another sign of economic recovery.
“The number of investment projects from companies greatly exceeded the funds that were initially available and, since there were good projects … we decided to increase the financial envelope so as to support them,” the secretary of state for regional development, Manuel Castro Almeida, told Lusa.
According to a joint decree signed last week by Almeida and by the secretary of state for innovation, investment and competitiveness, Pedro Pereira Gonçalves, the extra funds are to be injected into the Compete programme and the Regional Operation Programmes for the North, Centre and Algarve – aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises.
According to Almeida, the fresh funds bring the total for the year to more than double those for 2012. The record number of projects and their record value are, he said, an indication of economic recovery.
At present, state support for business investment projects close to being submitted as candidates for the latest European Union funds totals €1.3 billion.
PD/ARO // ARO.