Pedro Siza Vieira, Minister of State for the Economy and the Digital Transition argued today that “the European Union must continue to be a leader in industry”, as he outlined the vision of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union at “Industry Days 2021”, a European Commission initiative.
Highlighting the importance of having financial instruments available that will bring short- and long-term stimuli, industry will need to have the ambition to maintain its leadership in tangible goods. “Intangible goods have been increasing and they have contributed to the gross domestic product, but physical goods are still the basis of our lives”, according to the Minister of State for the Economy. And “the production of goods has to be compatible with the capacity of the planet to sustain life: decarbonisation, circularity and energy efficiency will have an impact on all areas of human activity. The competitiveness of European industry must evolve into this new paradigm.”
Strategy for digital cooperation
The Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union will be promoting a wide-reaching digital cooperation strategy, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with an emphasis on the European Union as a global player, providing industry with new growth opportunities. The goal of sustainability can be achieved if there is investment “in science, innovation, research and in people's abilities”, said Siza Vieira.
During the Portuguese Presidency, the European Commission will present the European Industrial Strategy, which is expected to reflect the value of the Single Market and bring new contributions in the face of its commitments related to the green and digital transition. In the same way, “economic policy and trade arrangements need to continue to be international, while always respecting European values”, the Minister pointed out.
For Siza Vieira, the European Union must continue to be a producer of technology, not just a follower. Technology must be the driving force behind new business models and new solutions, contributing to circular economy practices, he argued, and small and medium-sized enterprises, “the backbone of our economy”, must have more access to funding and be encouraged to make strategic industrial alliances.