"We have to increase the national production, support the national industry, because we have installed capacity and qualified workers", underlined the minister Ana Abrunhosa, in a hearing in the Assembly of the Republic, in the Budget and Finance Commission, (OE2021).

As a result of the reprogramming of European funds, the National Production Support Programme will support small investment projects of micro and small companies "in the area of ??tourism and industry", with an average co-financing rate of 50 percent non-repayable and with an increase for the interior of the country.

The global investment leveraged by the programme can go "up to €200 million", said Ana Abrunhosa, considering that the funds always generate additional investment.

Regarding the type of projects that can be co-financed by the programme, the minister explained that the idea is "to support the digitalisation of companies, to support the small purchase of replacement equipment, these are small investment projects".

Contrary to what happened in the past, project co-financing can be attributed without companies being obliged to hire workers.

In this context, the minister highlighted the challenge of economic conversion in the Algarve, a region that “is suffering deeply from this pandemic”, revealing that it still has funds from the Portugal 2020 community support programme, as well as more than €300 million from Portugal2030, plus €300 million from the special support package due to covid-19 and €200 million from the hydrographic project.

For the region, the objective is to “qualify the tourist offer and diversify the economic base”, which means “having more sustainable and less seasonal tourism”, which creates more value and is less dependent on cheap and low-skilled labour, pointed out Ana Abrunhosa, noting that the answer to the challenges lies in the dynamics of the actors in the territory.