Potential of "blue economy" highlighted at Brussels conference

The Belgian-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce has brought together prominent Blue Economy private stakeholders, both from Portugal and Belgium, along with financing agents, academia, clusters, associations, and EU policy makers. 

Duarte Bué Alves, Deputy Permanent Representative of Portugal to the OECD, and rapporteur of the event, opened by saying the global blue economy represents 1.5 trillion US dollars and 31 mi jobs.

Alves said that such data frames well the importance of blue economy nowadays.

The opening session, which took place at the Portuguese Permanent Representation to the EU on Tuesday, was dedicated to promote interactions between industry players in order to identify opportunities and constraints in the area of the Blue Economy in general and the production of offshore wind power in particular.

The main objectives were:

  • to identify potential Blue synergies between Portugal and Belgium
  • to report new opportunities on the ocean economy
  • to identify legal constraints at the European level on the development of sustainable activities in the oceans.

“This event was an excellent opportunity for our Chamber of Commerce to showcase the best examples of what is being done in Portugal and Belgium in the area of the Blue Economy and in the production of offshore wind energy. We brought together companies and institutions not only to exchange experiences and contacts with each other, but also to transmit an important message to European policy makers about the main constraints they face" stressed Rui Faria da Cunha, President of the Belgian-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce.

"Offshore wind energy is a solution for generating clean and safe energy that deserves our attention and commitment. We want to follow this issue in detail in the European Parliament' concluded Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar, MEP, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Fisheries, during today's second session at the European Parliament.

The participation of Viana do Castelo in this important event of the Blue Economy in Brussels is an excellent opportunity to present the countless potentialities of Viana do Castelo in the field of blue economy. 

Last October 19 the first turbine from the Wind Float Atlantic project was successfully towed from Ferrol, Spain, towards its destination 20 km off the coast of Viana do Castelo in Portugal, in what constitutes a world second for floating wind" stated proudly José Maria Costa, Mayor of Viana do Castelo.

The project uses WindFloat technology, which enables platforms to be installed in deep waters, inaccessible to date, where abundant wind resources can be harnessed. The project is led by the Windplus consortium, comprising Portugal’s EDP Renewables (54.4%), France’s ENGIE (25%), Spain’s Repsol (19.4%) and US-based Principle Power Inc. (1.2%). The government of Portugal, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank all provided financial support, with the EIB acting as the lead bank.

Founded in 1938 by 5 Belgian and Portuguese businessmen, the Belgian-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit association with the aim of promoting the development of commercial and friendship relations between Portugal and Belgium. Member of the Network of Portuguese Chambers of Commerce and located in Brussels, CCBP also aims to promote Portugal within international organisations also based in Brussels, in particular the European Union’s institutions.

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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