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Ponta Delgada ,  March 19, 2012

Government acknowledges economic potential of Azores Handicrafts

The handicrafts of the Azores "should be valued as an activity with economic potential and importance instead of being recognised just for the preservation of memory or traditional manufacturing methods," defended the Regional Secretary for the Economy in Lagoa today. The government official ensured that "the Azorean Government has recently introduced some changes to the Handicrafts Incentive Scheme with the purpose of boosting its economic potentiality."

Vasco Cordeiro spoke at the end of a visit to Cerâmica Vieira, which celebrates 150 years of operation, and reminded that this incentive scheme represents a public support of 200 thousand Euros, which covered about hundred and fifty artisans last year."

According to the government official, "the incentive scheme has introduced some changes in the universe of potential beneficiaries."
In fact, he explained, "the previous measures only supported artisans, but under the new incentive scheme any entity in the area of handicrafts will be eligible for support, including the associations whose mission is to promote regional handicrafts."

"A second aspect concerns the nature of incentive schemes: some incentives that were allocated in the form of loan will be now awarded in the form of a non-repayable subsidy, said Vasco Cordeiro.

The Regional Secretary recalled that the new incentive scheme "extends the expenses eligible for support in the case of the acquisition of equipment for handicrafts production, the promotion of handicrafts, among others."
The reform of the incentive scheme for the Development of Azores Handicrafts was approved last week by the Council of the Government and aims to promote its economic development through measures that reinforce the quality and competitiveness of regional handicrafts.

This new scheme is based on strategic guidelines targeted at the development of local production skills, the promotion of quality and innovation, and the development of projects of strategic importance for the marketing of regional handicrafts, thus eliminating a series of procedures that were previously required.
The support will be granted in the form of non-repayable subsidy and corresponds to 50% of the expenses eligible for support; the amount will be increased to 60% on the islands of Santa Maria, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico, Faial, Flores and Corvo.


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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