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Ponra Delgada ,  June 21, 2011

Reform of SIDER will strengthen regional companies and benefit employment

At the end of a hearing with the Commission for Economic Affairs of the Azorean Parliament, the Regional Secretary for the Economy, Vasco Cordeiro, assured that the reform proposed by the Government of the Azores on the Incentive Scheme for the Regional Development of the Azores (SIDER) “will strengthen regional companies” in order to ensure “the stability of jobs” and reinforce the private investment conditions on all Azorean islands.

The establishment of a new level for the island of Faial and Pico, where the reimbursement rates for projects will increase compared to the support awarded to the applications from São Miguel and Terceira, the strong promotion of activities with high export potential and the reinforcement of the regional productive capacity with the potential to reduce imports were some of the aspects highlighted by the Regional Secretary.

With regard to the proposal submitted by the Regional Government of the Azores, the Secretary considered that “it will enhance the response capacity for the current situation,” allowing SIDER to continue to be “an essential tool to support regional private investors.”

The legislation prepared by the Government, which was approved by all social partners, also allows “the possibility integrating a wider range of activities in this incentive system,” corresponding to a significant reinforcement of the investment possibilities on all islands. Hence, these support measures will be able to comprise a larger number of businesspeople.

According to the Regional Secretary, with this reform proposal the Government aims to support sustainable investment, being a crucial aspect for consolidating companies after the cessation of SIDER.

The increase of the financing period from 10 to 12 years, in the case of investment projects over 4 million Euros, as well as of the grace period for reimbursable subsidies, from 3 to 4 years, are some of the amendments introduced by the Regional Government, which also enables the provision of a response to regional businesspeople, who will now have better conditions for the implementation of their projects.  

The Local Development subsystem will now include the support granted to investment projects in the restaurant sector, which were integrated in the Tourism Development subsystem until now, and the activities that are not currently comprised by SIDER, such as the activities developed by free time occupation centres, nanny services, among others.

In this regard, the maximum investment limit for the promotion food safety and quality will increase from 60,000 to 80,000 Euros. Moreover, commercial urban projects designed to redevelop public spaces surrounding the commercial area, including the renewal of shop fronts, will now be promoted by trade associations.

With the amendments introduced to SIDER, the promoters of investment projects under 200 thousand Euros will have the possibility of choosing between the Government and Chamber of Commerce as the entities responsible for the analysis and subsequent monitoring of the implementation of projects.
In the case of commercial urban projects, the process will be now subject to approval of the municipality without the need of mandatory approval by other entities.

The amendments to SIDER have also comprised the Strategic Development subsystem which will include the investment in research and technological development.

The Quality and Innovation Development subsystem, another area of SIDER subject to major changes, will now allow the application of projects developed in all areas supported by the FEDER programme. In the cases, the maximum investment limit increased from 200,000 to 500,000 Euros.


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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