PORTUGAL’S BLUE ECONOMY IS WORTH NEARLY €5 BILLION

Piriye Kiyaramo

The Economy of the Sea in Portugal is now worth nearly €5 billion, totaling to €4.2 billion in gross added value (GAV), according to data from the Annual Economic Report on the EU Blue Economy 2018 – as reported on Portugal resident, recently.

It represents 2.6% of GAV for the Portuguese Economy and brings in around €4.8 billion in GDP, according to Jornal Económico.

According to PwC, the three pillars of the economy of the sea in Portugal are fishing, sea tourism and the ports industry and maritime services.

The ever-growing coastal tourism sector had led to the employment of around 178,000 people in 2016 – and this figure only keeps increasing, having contributed to 75% of all jobs in the blue economy and 78% of all profits.

Portugal resident described the goal of the annual report on the EU blue economy as one which “aims to describe the scope and size of this particular economy in the European Union, creating a baseline to support policymakers and stakeholders in the quest for sustainable development of oceans, seas and coastal resources.

It monitors developments in the EU blue economy annually and looks into the drivers behind trends. The report examines not only established sectors, meaning those that have traditionally contributed to the blue economy, but also emerging and innovative sectors, which bring new economic opportunities.”

The blue economy covers all activities related to oceans, seas and coasts as well as a wide range of established and emerging sectors, including aquaculture, fish processing industries, fisheries, ports, warehousing and water projects, shipbuilding and repairs, coastal tourism, marine extraction of oil and gas, and more.

“Portugal will be a credible and committed partner” in the blue economy development

The Prime-Minister, António Costa, underlined the importance of developing the blue economy, focused on the oceans, adding that “Portugal is already working with several partners in this goal, through the international investigation centre of Azores (AIR Center).

These statements were made at a conference with the theme, “Oceans: opportunities of wellness”, promoted by Norway, that took place during the 72nd General Assembly of the United Nations, in New York.

Remembering the historic maritime tradition of Portugal and the 500 years of the Earth’s circumnavigation by Fernão de Magalhães, the Prime-Minister had stressed the importance of the AIR Center, “an international scientific organization located in the Azores islands”.

The AIR Center “has the goal of developing a new interdisciplinary research platform, exploring synergies between space, climate, energy, ocean’s sciences and knowledge”, António Costa said.

According to the Prime Minister, “Portugal has organized an international conference about the oceans (Oceans Meeting 2017), during the 7th and the 8th of September, in Lisbon.

“In this area, as in many others, only with a collective actuation will be possible to make a difference to our populations, to the planet and to our prosperity. Portugal will be a credible and committed partner in this effort”, he concluded.