The Government of the Azores is finalising the launch of a legislative initiative designated as "Zero Licensing" which is intended to "reduce administrative costs by eliminating licenses, permits, inspection and previous conditioning for certain activities, particularly those integrated in trade, services, storage, restaurant and beverage sectors," announced the Regional Secretary for the Economy in Ponta Delgada on Monday.
Vasco Cordeiro spoke at the presentation session of the 100 Largest Azorean Companies and the respective issue, an initiative promoted by AçorMedia. The government official considered that this measure will better respond to current challenges, allowing "more, better and faster investments. This is a challenge for everyone and on which the Government of the Azores does not turn its back."
Furthermore, this is one of several initiatives the Regional Government has been implementing in order to better respond to the "current challenges that should stimulate the creation of new solutions, new strategies and new partnerships between the private and public sectors."
According to Vasco Cordeiro, the measures developed by the Regional Government in this area aim to "ensure the feasibility of a structural development strategy in continuing the regional goods and services market, which is evidenced by a significant increase in the support to the export of products to national and international markets as well as to the regional market. The available funds will increase by 60% next year, up to 1.5 million Euros."
The construction of roll on/roll off ramps in regional ports, "due to radical changes in the type of logistics operation, is a decisive factor for consolidating a true regional market," stressed the government official.
With regard to structural measure developed by the Regional Government to address the current situation, the Regional Secretary for the Economy also stressed "the promotion of quality and innovation as a key factor to enhance the competitiveness of Azorean companies and the subsequent continuation of the Strategy for Quality in the Autonomous Region of the Azores. Apart from the measures already implemented, including the creation of an incentive subsystem specifically targeted at quality and innovation," the Regional Government will proceed with the definition and construction of the foundations of the Regional System of Quality, the creation and implementation of a Regional Barometer of Quality, which is expected to be publicly present in early 2012, and the online quality project.
Vasco Cordeiro assured that "the support to small operators in the food sector concerning the compliance with food hygiene and safety remains an important priority." This support measure, "in addition to representing a policy addressed at the defence of public health, also aims to promote the quality of regional products, thus contributing to the enhancement of our gastronomy and the restaurant sector as well as to the tourist and cultural promotion of the Azores."
The Regional Secretary for the Economy also highlighted the new support scheme designed to small and micro companies, developed in partnership with the Institute of Technological Innovation of the Azores, "in order to ensure the maintenance of its Food Hygiene and Safety programmes." With the Integrated Support Programme for Food Quality and Safety in the Azores, "small companies that have already implemented self-control systems may benefit from free laboratory testing and training in addition to the provision of technical assistance through business associations and INOVA."
However, the government official warned that the development of initiatives does not solve the challenges the Azorean Economy is currently facing: "We need more than ever to take into account that success stories and victories in these areas can be only achieved with the determination, commitment and skills of our businesspeople and workers."
Hence, "the public component is important in creating conditions for success, but the private component is also crucial in achieving this success," explained the Regional Secretary.
Vasco Cordeiro conveyed his belief that the near future "will certainly put to test the best of Azorean businesspeople and workers, who have proven their qualities in the past: determination, persistence, resistance and the ability to achieve success in adverse conditions. He also "assured that the Government is on the side of companies and families by supporting, helping and encouraging them." "The Azores were born of the work and success of all," concluded the Regional Secretary.