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Public policy reforms to further improve Portuguese export performance

Author

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  • Ben Westmore
  • Paula Adamczyk

Abstract

Portugal’s export performance over the past decade has been impressive, helping to reduce external imbalances. This partly owed to a sequence of structural reforms that benefited the productivity of the export sector and led to an increase in its size. Nonetheless, exports as a share of GDP and the stock of foreign direct investment remain below that of other comparable small European economies. Further shifting the orientation of the economy to the external sector is vital for Portugal given the strong link between trade openness and GDP per capita. To do this, policymakers must ensure that policy settings incentivise exporting firms to expand and improve their competitiveness, both through lower price and improved quality. For example, regulatory barriers that reduce competition in professional services should be lowered to improve the cost and quality of intermediate inputs. Increasing the efficiency of domestic infrastructure is also key, especially through competition-enhancing reforms to the port sector. To further differentiate and improve Portuguese export products, skills in the business sector need to be enhanced through better-targeted lifelong learning opportunities. At the same time, there is a need to focus innovation policies on raising the participation of small and medium enterprises in innovative activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Ben Westmore & Paula Adamczyk, 2019. "Public policy reforms to further improve Portuguese export performance," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1556, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1556-en
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1787/4d416a6b-en
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    competitiveness; export performance; foreign direct investment; infrastructure; innovation; lifelong learning; regulatory reforms;

    JEL classification:

    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

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