"PORTUGAL MUST REDUCE BUREAUCRACY TO MEET CHALLENGES
OF EUROPE'S SINGLE CURRENCY"
At the joint invitation of the WTCM and the Institute
of European Studies of Macau, the president of one of Portugal's top
banking groups, João Salgueiro delivered a dinner speech at the WTCM
on 25 September, stressing that "Portugal must reduce its bureaucracy
in order to meet the challenges of Europe's single currency."
The event was attended by Governor General Vasco Rocha Vieira, Portuguese Finance Minster António Sousa Franco and State Secretary for the Budget and Finance Fernando Teixeira dos Santos. In addition, Macau government officials and other local distinguished leaders also attended the seminar. It offered the audience a great opportunity to learn more about the Portuguese economic environment under the single currency.
The dinner speech started with WTCM President
António Leça giving a concise profile of the guest speaker's impressive
professional career in Portugal since 1960s.
Mr Salgueiro said at the speech that progress made in the area of macro-economics in Portugal had to be followed by a reduction of the country's bureaucracy.
Mr Salgueiro also emphasized that Portugal was suffering from bureaucratic red tape not only on the national but also on the municipal level. He urged the Portuguese government to speed up its administrative and tax reform measures and to clamp down on bureaucratic hurdles in the property sector.
He also appealed to Portugal's judiciary to increase its efficiency and reminded the audience that Portugal needed to be "more ambitious"to strengthen its position in the 15-nation European Union.
Mr Salgueiro praised the current and previous Portuguese governments for having safeguarded the country's monetary stability in conjunction with a reduced inflation rate and a "rigorous" policy of public finances.
However, he complained about the phenomenon of a certain degree of "national inertia" regarding other political reform measures that were still needed in order to be able to meet the challenges of the single currency.
Mr Salgueiro said one of Portugal's biggest challenges was to increase its competitiveness in Europe.
He also warned Portuguese businessmen against the risks of remaining "locked into immobility" and the temptation of "hunting for European Union subsidies."
However, Mr Salgueiro stressed that Portugal could still become a European economic "model case".
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