The European Investment Bank (EIB) and COTEC Portugal presented the report:
The study was prepared by the EIB, known as the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH or Advisory Hub) for COTEC Portugal, the business association for innovation mandated by the Ministry of Economy to promote innovation and the digitalization of Portuguese companies. The Advisory Hub, a partnership between the EIB Group and the European Commission, provides specific support for the identification, preparation and development of investment projects across the European Union, based on the expertise of the EIB and its partner institutions.
At the event in Lisbon, Emma Navarro, Vice President of the EIB and Isabel Furtado, President of the Board of Directors of COTEC Portugal, presented the main conclusions of the report, which carries out an analysis of the current status of the digitalization of SMEs in Portugal.
The study shows that SMEs continue to play an essential role in the Portuguese economy, representing more than three quarters of the national workforce. It also concludes that although the conditions of access to finance have improved in recent years, Portuguese companies must continue to intensify their investment efforts in digitalization, in order to converge with the EU average, particularly in traditional sectors such as construction, retail and hospitality.
The report identifies the main obstacles to the digital transformation of small and medium-sized Portuguese companies, namely with regard to financing mechanisms. It presents recommendations to increase the technical and management knowledge needed to implement digital projects, identifying clusters and digital innovation hubs as key partners to reinforce the digitalization of smaller companies in Portugal.