New AI platform to increase exports in Portugal

16 Apr 2019

exportsPortugal is introducing a new artificial intelligence platform aimed at boosting companies’ exports.

The platform – named “Portugal Exporta” was initiated by AICEP, the state agency for promotion of exports and investment, and is based on AI technology.

As Reuters reports, this includes machine learning, big data and design thinking to deliver customised services to thousands of companies.

AICEP's president Luis Castro Henriques told Reuters: "The platform will be a brave new world. It will allow us to attract more companies to internationalize, serve companies better and be more productive."

The platform covers a variety of services, including linking companies and investors, providing information on potential partners and customised internationalisation plans for each firm.

Henriques went on to say: "The platform will certainly bring important results to export growth (...) and, therefore, new records in 2019, even though we are seeing a slowdown at the moment.”

Portugal’s National Institute of Statistics revealed that despite Portugal boasting 44,000 companies with the potential to export, only 23,000 of those do so regularly.

Henriques said: "When the platform is fully working we should be able to serve all Portuguese companies with an exporting profile.”

Exports and tourism have led the country’s economic growth, allowing it to recover from its 2011-14 debt crisis. In 2017, the economy expanded at its strongest in seventeen years, but a slowing export growth resulted in a slight cooling of the economy.

Exports made up 44% of gross domestic product (GDP) last year, from 30% in 2010.

"The goal is for exports to reach 50 percent of GDP by 2025. For this to happen Portugal must continue to increase exports, diversify markets but also bring more companies to export on a recurring basis,” Henriques said.