1. Portuguese diplomacy finds it difficult to take a stand. In the face of the Portuguese-speaking African countries (PALOP), political and economic diplomacy has been mainly reactive rather than proactive.
This idea comes in connection with the large contracts in Angola that were won by the Portuguese industrial and construction groups. These contracts are of great importance for the recovery of national companies and Angola remains one of our main trading partners. More. There are hundreds of small businesses that rely on projects in African countries and continue to win contracts.
In Angola, President João Lourenço has done much to cleanse the country of historical corruption and renew the country’s image. In addition to the inheritance, she has new heroes who are involved in corruption.
The Angolan president’s strategy has strong supporters, such as Joe Biden, the president of the United States, who have given indications of strengthening relations with that country. On the other hand, we have the French and Spanish “biting” what they can do in business in Angola and we, as traditional partners, remain in the shadows.
There is talk of a state visit to that country, but it may be too late because Portuguese diplomacy finds it difficult to understand in which areas it should be positioned. It must be remembered that the interest in Mozambique was caused by Cabo Delgado and it was practically necessary to “scrutinize” the matter so that Portugal realized that it needed to be attentive and act. These two countries, as well as Cape Verde, deserve special attention.
We recently had a presidential visit to Guinea-Bissau, a country with which it is important to maintain close relations, albeit unrelated in terms of trade. Marcelo ended up legitimizing the questionable constitutional status of the incumbent president, who does not consider Portugal his number one ally. But, it should be noted that it was an initiative of President Marcelo who is still concerned about the need to maintain close contact with all PALOP countries.
Portugal has been distracted (and well) with the EU and wants to end this presidency without any spots, but for Portuguese companies the recovery of the large Angolan and Mozambican markets is a critical issue.
2. Back to the topic of the moratorium, which expires in September. Contrary to what has been promoted in some analyzes, canceling the freeze will have a huge impact on families and small and medium businesses, with bankruptcies on the horizon, but above all, with a huge social problem when families lose their homes
Although Brussels recognizes that national banks are overly exposed to mortgages and consumer credits, and have been prone to default, the reality is that it will not be possible for all families and small businesses to renegotiate, understandably, to extend contracts.
Therefore, a medium-term solution is needed. The PSD has already moved but, again, in a timid way. It is urgent to realize that the country’s economic recovery is not uniform across all industries, and even tourism and restaurants, which were expected to breathe some steam, suffer from inconsistencies in countries like the UK.
The tourism and industrial activity associated with it is on a tightrope and it is not known whether it will have the necessary conditions for its emergence or whether it will drown. Which is why it’s best to be proactive and anticipate the worst-case scenario for half-gas tourism recovery.