The event promoted by EMPET saw a selection of different people come together to try to brainstorm ideas in a bid to make the economy of Tavira and the Algarve as a whole more sustainable all through the year and for the future.
Speaking to the regional newspaper, Região Sul, Tavira mayor Jorge Botelo said that he did not want to see the only the local economy of Tavira change but instead was looking for ideas to be able to improve the region as a whole.
He said: “Our job is to make sure that Tavira is able to “give” for the entire year. But it is not only down to Tavira to do this all alone, the entire Algarve region has to change.”
The notion that the Algarve can survive on being only a sun and sea destination is one that has long passed its sell by date and in the past the Algarve accepted the seasonality of the economy. however the current economic situation means that every area of the Algarve now needs to be creating revenue all year round.
He added: We need a regional strategy that will benefit all countries in the Algarve. These problems can only be resolved through diversification with the creation of value. We need to work on regional partnerships to be able to innovate and enhance what we already have to be able to sell products in partnership to create more wealth for everyone in the region.”
While the importance of working on a regional scale was centre to the discussion the role of the Tavira Câmara with businesses was also discussed.
The Câmara will be promoting a policy of employment and supporting businesses in a scheme where the local government works as a “friend to businesses”.
Jorge Botelho said: “We must reduce the level of bureaucracy and help businesses with the level of taxes that they are facing by reducing taxes where we can.”
He also sees it as being important to increase the number of exports of local produce to other countries: “We have many local entrepreneurs with great experience in agricultural production but there is still room for us to be able to invest in the promotion of the export of dried fruits, olives and citrus fruits.”
However he added that it was also essential to look to new technologies and start ups to be able to make Tavira a place that is conducive to a positive business environment.