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Ponta Delgada ,  April 13, 2012

Government fosters corporate culture of quality in the Azores


The Regional Director for the Investment Support and to Competitiveness advocated in Ponta Delgada on Friday that the commitment to quality is indeed a requirement for the success and survival of companies in the markets.

Presiding over the opening session of the seminar on "Productivity and Management Systems," sponsored by the Portuguese Association for Quality (APCER), Arnaldo Machado defended that quality is a strong stimulus for boosting the competitiveness of organisations.

Hence, the government official warned companies for the importance of drawing special attention to the dynamic factors of competitiveness in order to facilitate the adaptation to higher levels of internal and external competitiveness and adjust to new types of specialisation.  
The Regional Director for Support to the Investment and Competitiveness also considered that the investment in the qualification of human resources, goods and services, effective management systems and innovations is crucial to enhance the competitiveness of companies and turn the Azores into a more developed region.

In this context, Arnaldo Machado stressed that the Regional Government of the Azores has been developing a comprehensive set of consistent and coordinated measures to promote a culture of quality in the archipelago.

In this context, the government official mentioned the ongoing Regional Strategy for Quality in the archipelago, which has led to the creation of an integrated action plan to meet the needs for a systematisation of quality practices, including various planning tools and the operationalisation of regional policies.

With regard to the incentive policy for the 2007-2013 period, Arnaldo Machado assured the allocation of an increased non-refundable component of the incentive measures for projects involving investments in the area of quality certification.

Moreover, the government official stressed that the Incentive Scheme for the Regional Development of the Azores (SIDER) includes a specific subsystem to support investment projects in the areas of quality and innovation.

With the reform of SIDER, the Subsystem to Support Quality and Innovation has been substantially changed. The Regional Government has extended its scope to all economic activities within the ERDF framework, increasing the maximum limit of investment from 200 thousand to 500 thousand Euros.
Taking into account the investments eligible under this programme, the Regional Secretary added that the Azorean Government has decided to increase the reimbursement rate of projects in the form of non-repayable grant by 15%.
The Government has also awarded priority status to the area of food quality in order to strengthen the protection of health and consumer confidence in the production and marketing of food products.

The Regional Secretary recalled that the Azorean Government launched a new programme targeted at the food sector, "Safe Quality," two weeks ago with the purpose of providing companies with the possibility of maintaining their food safety quality programmes at a very low cost.

Furthermore, the government official also revealed that a support system was created in the archipelago to ensure the provision of technical assistance to companies. The Regional Government estimates to make a public presentation of the Regional Quality Barometer.

Stressing the work developed by certification entities, the Regional Director for Support to the Investment and Competitiveness stated that companies should play the leading role in the development of the Azores.

At the meeting, which he considered as very important to improve the productivity levels of organisations, Arnaldo Machado assured that the Government has sought to create a stimulating environment to boost business efficiency by reducing the negative impact of the adverse effects of the crisis and enhancing the competitiveness of regional companies.


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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