Portugal’s prime minister on Wednesday argued that despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, employment in the country is at an all-time high, businesses have not closed and are exporting like never before and the economy is growing.
“If we were here four years ago and we were told, we’re going to have a pandemic that’s going to stop the whole world. I would say, there’s a nutter here, does anyone believe this? That we’re going to come out of the pandemic, there’s going to be a war in Europe where it’s going to raise the price of energy 160%, 200%. I would say: he’s even crazier. The truth is that we’ve been through it all, we’ve been going through it all,” António Costa said during a lunch with businessmen organised by the Minho Business Association in Guimarães, adding.
“And notwithstanding the fact that we are going through all this, the truth is that employment is at its maximum, companies have not closed, the economy is growing as it has not grown for many years, companies are exporting as they had never exported before. And so, we have only one reason to say: let the challenges come and we will win. And that is what we are going to do”, said Costa, during another initiative included in the two days of the ‘Government + Close’ programme, held today and on Thursday in the district of Braga.
For the prime minister it is important that there is “focus and confidence” in the future.
“I think we should focus. I think we have good reasons to have confidence, which is a fundamental condition of the country. [In] Everything, to overcome challenges, is to have confidence in the conditions we have. And confidence is not being unaware of the obstacles, it’s being aware that we have the capacity to overcome the obstacles. Because there is no life, there is no challenge, in any sector, in any activity that does not have obstacles. In your companies you have already faced many obstacles and you will face many obstacles”, stated the leader of the government in his speech.
In this sense, António Costa highlighted that the essential thing is to have confidence so that, “despite these obstacles”, one can create the conditions “to be able to overcome them”.
“And that is what the country has to feel ahead,” stressed the prime minister, who was accompanied by the ministers of the presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, of the economy, António Costa Silva, and of territorial cohesion, Ana Abrunhosa.
The government leader said he had a “deep conviction” that Portugal has all the conditions to “take a great leap forward”.
“And my deep conviction is that, with the human resources that we have today, with the resilience of the business fabric that we have today, with the innovation capacity that the scientific and technological system allows companies to have today, with the comparative advantage that we have in this context of double energy and digital transition, we have all the conditions to make a great leap forward,” said António Costa.
The Cabinet meeting in Braga is scheduled for Thursday.