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November 5, 2014
COMPETE 2020 ao lado de quem cria valor
December 9, 2015
Calvelex Administrator and ANIVEC /APIV Vice President, César Araújo´s opinion about SMEs
Small and medium enterprises are today being greatly affected in our country, for a reason easy to explain:
We refer to the way SMEs are defined. For the purpose, three criteria are being used: the number of employees, turnover and the value of their balance sheet. This definition is not particular to Portugal. It was determined by the European Union, and therefore necessarily adopted. Such fact, designed namely to avoid discrepancies between the EU countries, produces, however, very deep and divergent effects in the EU, especially benefiting the Northern countries, for their particular economic structure. Since the form currently used to define SMEs mainly harms producing companies of tradable goods and even more to those which production is labour-intensive, as it is the case of the clothing manufacturing sector.
This reality was not taken into account when it came to creating a set of common rules for the definition of SMEs. It is not possible, for example, the existence of a company in the clothing manufacturing sector capable of reaching 20% of the turnover limit allowed, while at the same time having the maximum allowable staff. The concern that existed in combining the turnover method with the total balance sheet total was not considered, when it came to limit the criteria of employed personnel.
When our country needs to quickly resolve its current employment crisis and improve its trade balance, we believe that much would benefit if the definition of SMEs suffers, at a European level, a slight change: instead of any company being restrained to exceed any of these criteria, whether the number of employees, the turnover or the value of the balance sheet, in order to be considered an SME, it should be allowed to surpass any of them. Another solution would be to simply abolish what concerns the number of persons employed.