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ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN PORTUGAL

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INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

No information is available.

 

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TRADE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The coordination of official cooperation is the responsibility of the ICP (Portuguese Cooperation Institute). The Portuguese foreign trade system is an open system.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

Between 1995 and May 1999, within the scope of the Contractual Regime for Foreign Investment (RCIE), Portugal received total investments in the amount of PTE 307.400.000, corresponding to 14 projects responsible for creating and maintaining between 7.475 and 6.639 jobs. These projects involved the expansion and modernization of manufacturing plants (7 projects or 50% of the total), Greenfield projects (6 projects or 43% of the total) and reconversion of an industrial unit (1 project or 7% of the total). Foreign direct investment has also contributed to create new jobs with the consequence of an increase of employment. The technological renewing in sectors like motor vehicles and electrical industry has also increased, which has lead to the result of an increase of the technological intensity and competitiveness of Portuguese economy.

In order to integrate the trade and environment issue, Portugal has implemented several measures, such as eco-labelling and eco-management auditing system.

Status 

Since Portugal became a member of European Union, trade barriers were dismantled and the European Union External Common Tariff was adopted. Foreign direct investment had an important role in changing the patterns of exports. Traditional export sectors like textile, clothing and footwear have reduced their relative value while new exporting areas are growing. Motor vehicles and electrical industry represents one third of total sales to other countries (world market). This phenomenon is also associated with indirect investment preconised by foreign sophisticated buyers, who have induced an increase of modernization of Portuguese suppliers in those sectors.

In the last four years the Portuguese economy has improved with GDP in 1998 having grown by nearly 4%. Following the greater dynamism of economic activity, the employment market has grown positively both in terms of rate of activity and employment growth. The drop in the rate of unemployment was considerable. In this area it should be mentioned that the unemployment rate has dropped and is one of the lowest in the European Union, 5% in 1998 as against 6.7% in 1997. As regards results it is important to note that employment have grown at a rate of approximately 2.3% in the last two years, higher than in the European Union. This growth affected at least all groups in the employment market, in particular those who were excluded from the labour market.

In recent years in Portugal, the consumption patterns have suffered dramatical changes, mainly due to a strong modernization and sustained economic growth. In terms of the European Union, between 1986 and 1999 Portuguese GDP has grown from 54% to 77% of the European average. This has had consequences in consumption patterns. To illustrate this fact, it can be underlined that the percentage of chocolate consumers in the general population has grown from a mere 5%-8% in the eighties to a full 61% in 1999. Another interesting figure is the percentage of women regularly going to the hairdresser (86.9%) and the percentage attending beauty salons (25%). To sum up, the recent economic growth has had resulted in higher levels of more sophisticated and demanding consumption of the general public.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available.

Information 

The national report on economic policy is available in the Internet on the following addresses:
http://www.min-plan.pt
http://www.dgep.pt
http://www.bportugal.pt
http://www.portugal.org
http://www.icep.pt

Research and Technologies 

No information is available.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

Portugal is member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in this framework it is essential that WTO, as an essentially economic organization, is adapted to the constant evolution of international economic relations. The participation of Portugal within the EU framework in the WTO negotiations will be essential to improve its access to foreign markets therefor its economic growth and development. The reinforcement of multilateral trade rules in sectors such as competition, investment and social development, in order to increase legal security and predictability of international economic relations among countries, represents a vital contribution to foster economic growth, to promote sustainable development and to increase the inter-relation between the WTO and the global economic evolution. Within this context, Portugal particularly supports the integration of a multilateral framework of disciplines and rules for international investment in the WTO negotiations with the objectives of increasing legal security for investors and favoring international flows of investment, which, under appropriate conditions, can have a positive impact on development.

The UNCTAD as well as WTO is also an important forum to discuss all the aspects connected with sustainable development. Within strict collaboration the WTO must give a strong contribution to a better integration of developing countries in the international trade system. The situation of the Least Developed Countries, especially the Africans, is a particular concern to Portugal.

Portugal is a member of the CAD/OECD, and of the CPLP (Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries).

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth and eighth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: October 2000

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CHANGING CONSUMPTION PATTERNS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

A national debate on consumption and production patterns has been initiated, and a study on the interrelationship among environment, development, and consumption patterns is in progress. Eco-labelling is being used in accordance with EU standards, and in 1996, eco-labelling was applied to 3 products produced in Portugal. Steps have been taken to reduce energy consumption, e.g. through awareness-raising campaigns. Special attention is given to the needs of the poor.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

A consumer protection policy was developed in 1989, aiming to involve consumer associations and major groups in decision-making, and to improve information and training conditions. Special regard is given to the promotion of ecologically-produced food.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

The Government cooperates with Local Authority Consumer Information Centers and other consumer organizations, such as DECO - Associao Portuguesa para a Defesa do Consumidor (Portuguese Association for Consumer Protection), which provide training and information services. The DECO Association publishes two periodic consumer guides for products and services.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available.

Information 

A programme is being implemented to protect the health and safety of consumers. It includes activities to monitor and exchange information on dangerous products and services through, inter alia, the Safety of Consumer Goods Committee, and the Safety Information Centre for Dangerous Products. A permanent information network on consumption (INFOCONSUMO) was established, connecting local information systems with data bases of the European Information Agency on Consumption. TV programmes are also being used to raise awareness on consumption and production issues.

Research and Technologies 

No information is available.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

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This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: April 1997.

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FINANCING

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

In Portugal the environmental fiscal reform is not yet completed. Some taxes exist, which consider some environmental aspects, namely:

The Government decided to reduce no less than 15% of the tax on vehicles for those cars, which only use the gases of petrol liquefacted (GPL). The fuel with less hazardous environmental effects like gasoline unlead or with less than 0.013g/l of lead and fuel oil with sulfur contents less than 1% having preferential fiscal treatment.

Since becoming a member of the European Union, Portugal has been adapting its environmental policies in conformity with the Community’s rules. At the same time and in order to make Portugal more competitive in the reception of FDI, the Portuguese government has approved several laws to attract potential investors. Concerning the environmental protection issue there are incentives available for environmental protection projects as well as for industrial projects, in which the protection of the environment is safeguarded.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Since 1986 tax measures were adopted in the State budgets to fight poverty and to benefit a framework that is favorable to employment and to the promotion of vocational training. To implement these aims the Government has given priority to increase the transfers from the State Budget to the Social Security budget as the primary finance sources. Tax incentives were also set up for creating jobs for unemployed people, namely reduction of tax burden on companies by cutting the corporate tax rate from 36% to 34%. It was also created an extraordinary system of tax incentives for medium and small companies and for the cooperative sector, as well as a tax credit for investment in scientific research and experimental development (R&D). In addition, it should be mentioned that as a result of the reduction in public debt charges (amortization and a fall in the interest rate) and despite the commitments undertaken as a result of the creation of the EU single currency, it has been possible to apply part of the funds for social purposes, such as creating the minimum guaranteed income. Part of the VAT funds have also been allocated to finance social security.

Total costs for the implementation of the National Environmental Plan are estimated at 1,000 billion escudos, with the following distribution:

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies 

No information is available.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

The Portuguese cooperation is one of the main priorities in our foreign policy, especially regarding the Portuguese speaking African Countries. The ODA to these countries is directed to the promotion of economic growth and to people welfare. The ODA has increased in the last two years and the Government intends to reach 0.36% in 2000 and 0.7% in 2007. The cooperation projects are mainly directed to capacity building, training, education, sanitation, legislation, environmental and nature protection and food safety.

Regarding multilateral cooperation, Portugal contributes to the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and belongs to the group of countries that is responsible for about 55% of the UN Budget.

Portugal also contributes several specialized agencies on a voluntary basis, such as UNEP, UNDP, UNESCO, Habitat, UNCTAD.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth and eighth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: June 2000.

For information on participating States in the Global Environment Facility, click here:

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TECHNOLOGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Ministry of Economics encourages voluntary agreements with industry on environmental protection measures. Strategies were adapted to promote the use of less polluting technologies. In 1991, regulations were introduced to ensure public health, health at the work place and environmental standards.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Government is committed to implement the relevant EU policies and activities related to clean production processes and eco-efficiency, including the eco-management and environmental audit system, eco-labelling, an industrial licensing system, waste prevention and recycling measures and further waste management activities.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies 

No information is available.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

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This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: April 1997.

 

BIOTECHNOLOGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The General Directorate of the Environment is responsible for environmentally sound management of biotechnology.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The exchange of information on genetically modified organisms is regulated at the European Union level. All notifications concerning modified organisms must be sent to the European Commission, which in turn, sends this information to all Member States. For use and release, all Member States must agree or vote on the proposal. Portugal has enacted the Decree-law no. 126/1993 that regulates the use and release of genetically modified organisms.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

Several studies and projects are underway on the application of biotechnologies in agriculture, rural development, and waste management. A number of biotechnological techniques have been introduced and applied, namely through the Institute of Tropical Scientific Research. They are geared, inter alia, to the production of crop varieties resistant to disease and plagues. Some plant species were produced to improve soil fertility. Studies were carried out on flora, pharmacology, honey production and plant acclimatization. In-vitro multiplication techniques are being applied to endangered species.

The following institutions are involved in biotechnology research: ITOB (40 staff members); the Biotechnology and Fine Chemistry Institute Lisbon (IST, 26 staff members); and the Biotechnology and Fine Chemistry Centre (UCP-High School of Biotechnology, 18 staff members).

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies 

No information is available.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

All activities are carried out in accordance with EU policies. Biotechnological research on the coffee plant and its pests was undertaken in cooperation with Angola and Cape Verde. Access to biotechnology in almost all applied science issues has been possible through international cooperation.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: April 1997.

Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.

Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.

Click here to link to biosafety web sites in the European Union.

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INDUSTRY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Government is committed to implement the relevant EU policies and activities related to clean production processes and eco-efficiency, including the eco-management and environmental audit system, eco-labelling, an industrial licensing system, waste prevention and recycling measures and further waste management activities. The Ministry of Economics encourages voluntary agreements with industry on environmental protection measures. Strategies were adapted to promote the use of less polluting technologies.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies 

No information is available.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

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This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: April 1997.

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TRANSPORT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Following the hight growth rate of fuel consumption for road transport in the 1980s, policy measures now aim to strengthen the competitiveness of rail transport.

DDecision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

Increasing demand for transportation in the 1980s focussed strongly on road transport and resulted in a considerable expansion of the number of vehicles in use, and a 67% increase in traffic. This caused an approximately 58% rate of growth in fuel consumption in the eighties.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies 

There are only ad hoc observations of transport emissions.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

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This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: April 1997.

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SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

No information is available

 

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