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Ponta Delgada ,  April 13, 2018

Regional Construction Industry "shows strength and ability" in adapting itself to a period of change, says Ana Cunha

The Regional Secretary for Transport and Public Works stated in Ponta Delgada that "we can proudly say" that the regional construction industry "has shown strength and ability in overcoming a very disturbed period and in adapting itself to a period of change."
This sector has adapted itself and "is adapting itself to a new reality," Ana Cunha said, adding that the "Government of the Azores takes pride in being a partner in this adaptation." ´
The Secretary for Public Works spoke at the meeting-debate on "Construction in the Azores: the present and perspectives for the future." She stressed that this adaptation, besides being evident in various indicators in terms of cement production and the number of licensed buildings, is, above all, represented by job creation. According to her, "this adaptation and the reaction of regional construction is also shown by figures."
"The overall number of workers increased by 12 thousand from 2013 and 2017 and the construction sector registers a growth of 21%," stated the Regional Secretary. In this regard, the government official noted the "investment effort in public works amounting to 312 million Euros in the period from 2013 to 2017, which was reinforced by the entry into force of the Community framework in 2015. The private sector has also responded to this effort with an investment of 143 million Euros, with Community funding, during this period."
Ana Cunha also highlighted the impact that the changes to the transport model in 2014 had "in the development of new projects that have emerged in terms of restaurants or tourism accommodation, including traditional hotels, rural tourism or local accommodation units." According to her, "we note here, as in the rest of the country, an increase in urban rehabilitation throughout the Region, which should be maintained for tourism."
The Regional Secretary also identified "a new housing problem taking place in Lisbon on a large scale that has already spread to Ponta Delgada. This has lead the Regional Government to announce measures for housing recovery that require owners to make properties available for lease.
According to Ana Cunha, urban rehabilitation "should be further encouraged so that this market may embody what is a basic right and an achievement of the Carnation Revolution (April 25): the right to housing."
Mentioning the investments in large infrastructures that are "still needed on the nine islands," Ana Cunha stressed that the future "also involves public investments, which are ongoing."
"The public investment, as regards the Regional Government, has not diminished in our plans since 2013 insofar as it has maintained some regularity," the government official said, stressing that it also involves the rehabilitation and maintenance of existing infrastructures.
Ana Cunha also stressed the need to develop and update knowledge in the construction sector in "all professions in the area, including the discovery of new training areas."
"It is the responsibility of all of us as it is the responsibility of schools, universities, private associations, professional associations, government, municipalities," said the government official.
The Regional Secretary also highlighted the training courses for the construction sector to be conducted by the Regional Civil Engineering Laboratory (LREC) this year. In this regard, she pointed out the training courses on BIM methodology - Billing Information Modeling as well as national and international events organised by the LREC, which will also "contribute to this update of knowledge." She pointed out the National Congress of Geotechnics to be held in May in Ponta Delgada, with 400 participants, the World Symposium on Networks and Water Supply in Buildings in August, with about 100 participants, and the International Workshop on Natural Risks - water resources to take place next year.
Ana Cunha also highlighted the revision of the Catalogue of Endogenous Products and Materials Produced and Processed in the Azores. It is "being carried out jointly with industry partners in order to bring new products and new trends in the context of energy efficiency and environmental concerns."
Accordingly, "the Regional Government, through LREC, has decided to foster this discovery, through the establishment of the Creative Industry Platform of the Azores, whose applications for Community funding was approved last week." This platform will "promote a contest of ideas for all the technical and creative community as well as the suggestion of new products based on endogenous materials." It has the potential for the development of new ideas and, consequently, new areas of business.
Furthermore, Ana Cunha conveyed the Government's willingness to "work with all agents of the sector."


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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