1 in 8 beneficiaries of the Programa Regressar settles in the periphery

Last 23 July 2020, the State Secretary for Portuguese Communities, Berta Nunes, announced that the “Programa Nacional de Apoio ao Investimento da Diáspora” was approved by the Government (Conselho de Ministros). The programme includes fiscal incentives for small and medium entreprises set up by emigrants (who will gain the status of Investidor da Diáspora) in Portugal, in tourism or construction for instance. Nunes also announced this will translate into institutional contact points, at national and municipal levels. Publico also relayed the information, and the statement that this move aims at tapping into the “double potential” of Portuguese communities: investors and factors of economic internationalisation.

This programme adds up to the Programa Regressar, which I have described here. The Ministry of Work, Solidarity and Social Security has announced on 24 July that in a year, one of the institutions in charge of the programme, IEFP, had received 1400 applications (corresponding to 3000 people). Among the approved applications, 800 Portuguese who went abroad (in their majority in the aftermath of the crisis, between 2011 and 2015) are already back to Portugal. They received a total support of 3.5 million Euros.

Interestingly, 100 of them settled in the “territories of the interior”, hence receiving an extra 25% support.

In February 2020, the programme was slightly altered to include returnees who do not succeed to get a permanent contract, but have signed a six-month contract at least. When the contract is prolonged, they can then get extra support. The alteration included a small increase in the individual support too.

Finally, in August 2020, Berta Nunes also announced a new reform regarding the Gabinete de Apoio ao Emigrante (GAE), municipal units created to support the settlement of returnees. The goal is to enlarge the network from the 180 existing GAE to reach 308 municipal councils. Information regarding the “Programa Nacional de Apoio ao Investimento da Diáspora” will also be made available, expanding the responsibilities of GAE to diaspora investment.


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