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Fórum Porto de Economia has shown the city’s ambition to attract talent and investment

It was a day dedicated to sharing, thinking, and creating an economically dynamic city. More than 50 companies, entrepreneurs, academic bodies, and other economic agents met this Tuesday at the Alfândega Congress Center for the first edition of the Fórum Porto de Economia. The good results achieved together were acknowledged, but the assumption of an ever more ambitious attitude remained.

Fórum Porto de Economia has shown the city’s ambition to attract talent and investment
porto. · 28 Feb 2024

At the opening of the event, the Mayor of Porto shared three "concerns": the persistent "phobia of merit", the "need to create wealth", before thinking about redistribution, and the commitment to adapt to the "transitions of Artificial Intelligence", instead of "fighting windmills".


Drawing attention to the "time of decisions" that the country is experiencing, Rui Moreira believes that "we need policies aimed at creating wealth and this is not done through rentier models", but through exporting companies with high added value.


"We don't need to reinvent the wheel. It's just a matter of letting the wheel go and not constantly trying to put the brakes on," he stressed


Giving the example of Porto, Rui Moreira listed achievements such as the "excellent universities and polytechnics, with the capacity to train human capital in scientific and technological areas of great potential", "the ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship that has grown consistently in recent years" or the capacity, boosted by the action of InvestPorto, but also by the "quality of life and levels of well-being of the city", to "attract large international technology companies".

Attracting PhDs to the business community to boost innovation


Nevertheless, he believes, "the city must continue to be ambitious". And that will mean " further transforming our economy, to generate more qualified jobs, more business opportunities, more academia-company projects, more business innovation".


Among the obstacles to this ambition, the Mayor mentions "administrative bureaucracy, the tax system, contextual costs, legislative instability, the slow pace of justice and the slow execution of European funds".


But Rui Moreira's focus at the forum was on the "long way to go in cooperation between universities and companies", specifically on the "derisory" number of PhDs in the business world.


We need to better reconcile the academic and business cultures," said the Mayor, who believes that "with more PhDs, companies will be better placed to invest in innovation and, from there, develop more competitive goods and services."