Portugal reaping benefits of eurozone bailout, says OECD

2 Apr 15

Portugal has completed the demanding economic reforms required as part of its eurozone bailout and the country is beginning to see the benefits of the programme, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has said.

However, the think-tank said the country still needed to improve the quality of education and to liberalise its labour market after exiting its three-year bailout programme last May.

‘Portugal has been successful in dealing with the immediate aftermath of the crisis,’ secretary general Angel Gurría said.

After three years of severe recession, the Portuguese economy grew by 0.9% in 2014. The OECD highlighted that exports were increasing, the country’s current account has turned positive, and borrowing costs had fallen to record low levels as a result of the bond market backing the programme of fiscal consolidation.

However, Gurría warned that ‘developing the right skills and making sure they are deployed effectively will be the essential foundation for Portugal’s long-term prosperity and competitiveness’.

A well-trained workforce represented a new ‘global currency’, he added, and improvements were needed to boost productivity, promote innovation and ensure growth is shared across the population.

‘Without proper investment in skills, people languish on the margins of society, technological progress does not translate into well-being, and countries can no longer compete in increasingly knowledge-based economies.’

The OECD’s Skills strategy diagnostic report said school attainment for young people throughout upper secondary and higher education needed to improve, while funding was also needed for a more equitable and efficient skills and training system.

  • Judith Ugwumadu
    Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith writes about public finance, public services and economics across Public Finance International and Public Finance. She previously undertook reporting stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express.

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