The transformation of Portugal into an international outsourcing destination is one of the ambitions of companies in the sector, materialized in the strategy already defined by the Portugal Outsourcing Association, which today presented a study that confirms the potential to capture projects and competence centers at an international level.
Led by Rogério Carapuça, president of Novabase and member of the Association, the study points out advantages and disadvantages of Portugal in the face of close competition from Spain, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic and Romania.
Competitiveness in terms of costs but also in terms of human resources was highlighted, as well as the existing infrastructures, but there are still barriers to be overcome for Portugal to become more attractive, especially in terms of the slowness of justice and taxation policy, he said. Rogério Carapuça.
Even more important is the need to gain critical internal mass, with reference cases that are essential to put Portugal on the map of international contracts. The person responsible for the study argues that here the Public Administration has an important role to play, being able to help develop the market and replicating successful examples from other countries, such as the United Kingdom, where the development of outsourcing to the public sector helped to develop all the industry boosted its growth.
The appeal was not fully accepted by two government representatives at the Association’s conference. Maria Manuel Leitão Marques, Secretary of State for Administrative Modernization admitted that Outsourcing can help meet the objectives of having a more innovative and less costly Public Administration. «Maybe so, but we are under no illusions, the tests will be increasingly demanding», he stressed, also challenging companies in the sector to take more risks in the development of new pilot projects that may or may not result in new products and services.
Carlos Zorrinho, Secretary of State for Innovation and Energy, also showed an openness regarding this challenge, making himself available to talk with the association to define strategies to enhance internationalization, but not escaping the limitations that outsourcing has in Public Administration, particularly in terms of human resources.
Portugal’s potential was also analyzed by Bharat Vagadia, a UK consultant and member of the board of the association of outsourcing companies in the country. In order to place Portugal on the extremely competitive map of countries that want to become outsourcing hubs, this consultant argues that it is necessary to define a differentiating strategy, choosing an area in which national companies can stand out, which will serve as the country’s “presentation card”.
And in his opinion, the best strategy is not to compete in terms of costs, where we would hardly be able to beat emerging economies such as India and Brazil, but eventually through very specialized services.