The measures imposed to contain the spread of the new coronavirus are already being felt in the country’s «fragile» economic structure which has «the handicap of having a highly indebted State with limited capacity to find liquidity for the economy», explained economist Fernando Alexandre, during the initiative "The country that will follow" from Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation.
Despite the difficulties, it is expected that «from June there will be a compensation to the economy generated by tourism, which is the great engine of the economy between June and September». But if that does not happen within the next two months «we will have serious trouble», advanced the economist.
The most important right now is to respond quickly and create measures and action plans. «The speed of reaction will be decisive for the future of the economy. Because if we are not fast enough, there will be irretrievable damage», assured Fernando Alexandre, defending that in order for the economy to have activity and employment levels which allow it to be sustainable, «we need other sectors of the economy to recover and be active».
Even immersed on an economic recession which has already been announced by the International Monetary Fund, there are business opportunities which can help boost the economy. The production of medical protection products and reagents to test Covid-19 is one of the markets to be tapped into and which will need a distribution chain that will increase logistic activity. And, afterwards, the e-commerce increase has been such, that there are already companies which need to increase their capacity by investing in new assets and new distribution chains.
We are under a «strong deceleration» of the world’s economy and we will have «a full change within the productive cycle», advanced Fernando Alexandre. Not all companies will survive this crisis since not all companies will have access to credit. And the financial institutions will play a fundamental role in this triage, believes the economist, arguing that it is up to them to assess and understand which are the most productive companies, that invest the most in innovation and with more probabilities of winning.
Despite the country’s talent retention and the several support measures implemented not only by the Government but also by European institutions (European Central Bank and the European Commission), the economist assumes that the future of Portuguese economy will be marked by the GDP drop and by an increase in the public debt.