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Ponta Delgada ,  October 24, 2013

Regional Inspectorate of Economic Activities to focus on parallel economy in the construction sector

Under the Operational Plan to Combat Parallel Economy implemented by the Government of the Azores, the Regional Inspectorate of Economic Activities (IRAE) has been carrying out educational actions and inspections that focus on sectors, where this phenomenon tends to occur more frequently.

By the end of September, IRAE had developed a total of 1,148 actions addressed at 23 different activities, ranging from small retail trade, restaurants, repair shops, wood industry to the sale of fish, cleaning services, and tourism activities, among others.

In the construction sector, where the underground economy is particularly relevant, the IRAE has conducted 116 actions in the archipelago, which represents nearly 10% of the overall activities carried out by this entity.

About 85% of the activities developed by the Regional Inspectorate of Economic Activities in the sector were carried out on their initiative; however, it is important to stress the growing collaboration of social partners in detecting and identifying irregular activities in the construction sector.

The IRAE, an entity under the jurisdiction of the Vice-Presidency of the Regional Government, has raised the awareness of social partners, including the Azores Building Industry and Public Works Association (AICOPA) and the Chambers of Commerce, for the dangers of underground economy. This collaboration is critical for an effective combat to parallel economy.

The Operational Plan to Combat Parallel Economy is one of the measures provided in the Azorean Agenda for Employment Creation and Business Competitiveness; it embodies the Government's intentions of enforcing the legal mechanisms to strengthen the action of the Regional Inspectorate of Economic Activities.

The goal is to render the actions carried out by IRAE more effective in the fight against all entities engaging in parallel economic activities, which distorts competition rules and prejudices the Region.

Unregistered economic activities, commonly referred to as parallel economy, are neither reflected in the official Gross Domestic Product of the Azores nor included in its quantification. In fact, a relevant amount of goods bypass the official economic circuits with the clear intent of avoiding taxes, Social Security contributions and the payment of salaries, as provided in the law.


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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