“Deceleration and fragmentation of globalization, with business prevailing within friendly blocs, but not an accelerated deglobalization movement; configuration of geopolitical blocs with homogeneous levels of protectionism, defense and self-sufficiency that impose and accentuate customs barriers and difficulties with the movement of goods; and accentuation of the trends of relocation of production to places closer to consumption", these are the trends resulting from Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and which change the configuration of world trade, as described by José Eduardo Carvalho, president of the Portuguese Industrial Association (AIP) , in the opening session of the conference "Iberian Peninsula as a Business Platform: Europe, Ibero-America and Africa", on May 22, in Cascais, before an audience of more than 120 businessmen from Latin America, Portugal and Spain, the Mayor of Cascais, Carlos Carreiras, and the Secretary of State for Internationalization, Bernardo Ivo Cruz.

The president of the AIP stated that “there is a reduction in the volume of international trading, giving priority to security, the reliability of markets and governments and the availability of the product to the detriment of price” and that “Portugal and other open economies will have few advantages in which the world of commerce is divided into geopolitical blocs, with consequent policies restricting the circulation of goods”.

For José Eduardo Carvalho, “few would have believed, a year ago, that Germany, the economic engine of the European Union, and the other countries of the union would manage, with greater or lesser difficulty, to overcome energy dependence on Russia within a year. It was a remarkable achievement for the European Union and Portugal is also on the right path in the energy transition”.

The AIP leader also listed the challenges that Portugal has to overcome in the area of internationalization: “widening the export base and intensity. In a universe of 498 thousand, we have around 25700 companies that export regularly. Reduce the degree of concentration of exports in a single market and diversify exports to extra-EU markets. Currently, 70 percent of Portuguese exports are concentrated in European Union markets”.

 

José Eduardo Carvalho considers that “there is an external indicator of the Portuguese economy that constitutes a case study in OECD countries. In 12 years, the weight of exports in GDP increased from 28% to 50%. It was an unusual evolution. Over these years we have learned, at some cost, that economies cannot have very pronounced imbalances in the current account balance and that public and private consumption cannot have an excessive weight in GDP”.