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Angra do Heroísmo ,  November 18, 2015

Government of the Azores intends to create special economic zone in Praia da Vitória

The Government of the Azores intends to create a special economic zone for the surrounding area of Praia da Vitória Port and Lajes Airport. Hence, it will submit a proposal to the European Commission, through the Government of the Republic.

The initiative to create this economic zone, designated as Azores Business Centre, was presented today by the Vice-President of the Government in Angra do Heroísmo.

Sérgio Ávila stressed that this is "a new driving force in the economic revitalisation of the surrounding area of Lajes Air Base and the Azores in general," through the implementation of "specific tax benefits of various kinds" as well as the provision of "institutional, logistical and operational conditions that will be favourable to the development of economic activities by companies operating in this centre."

The Azores Business Centre will be implemented in three sectoral clusters. The first will be an Industrial and Commercial cluster, where production activities will be developed as well as the processing of goods, logistical activities and others  directly linked to tangible goods.
The second will be a Service Cluster that will cover activities relating to the provision of services and others that are not directly focused on tangible goods. In turn, the third cluster will be dedicated to Transport; it will include an international ship register as well as an international aircraft register.

Furthermore, the Government aims to implement a set of tax benefits for the entities operating in the Azores Business Centre, including reduced corporate income tax rates and the exemption from the payment of municipal and state taxes applied on foreign income.

Another benefit to be implemented concerns the creation of an incentive for reinvestment in the eligible profits of activity, through a partial deferment of the payment of the corporate tax income until the period for profit distribution operations in partnerships or operations with similar economic effect.

The provision of an alternative means to eliminate the legal double taxation applicable to foreign income is also included in the proposal for the creation of the Azores Business Centre.

The proposal also stipulates incentives for international transport activities in the context of international ship and aircraft registers.

"This Government's proposal involves innovative measures designed to attract private investment and competitiveness compared to other jurisdictions. These measures will not affect the current fiscal revenue stability in the Region as well as the stability achieved by the desirable increase of economic activity," said the Vice-President.
Sérgio Ávila added that the Government plans to create other incentives, such as the existence of a one stop shop with innovative operating conditions, the provision of a basic business support service, tax stability contracts and the existence of local tax powers.

The Vice-President of the Government stressed that the proposal for the creation of the Azores Business Centre falls within the set of measures planed under the Economic Revitalisation Plan of Terceira Island (PREIT). According to him, this plan has already "ensured the implementation of various measures for the economic and strategic recovery of existing infrastructures as well as the creation of incentive scheme for the business and employment creation."

"As we created, less than a year ago, exceptional measures that were required by an exceptional situation, we also took the commitment - on behalf and in the interest of our Region - to offset the direct impact caused by the reduction of the activity of Lajes Base on Terceira and in the Azores," said the government official.

Sérgio Ávila expects that today's proposal "will be welcomed by the National Government and subsequently approved by the European Commission," reiterating his belief that this is "an important step."

"The Government of the Azores is hopeful in the positive effects arising from the creation of this Business Centre on the economy of Terceira and, consequently, in the economy of the entire region," said the Vice President.


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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