A business cocktail event was organised by the British-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce (BPCC) on October 17 at the boutique bed and breakfast Cerro da Borrega, in S. Teotónio, Odemira.
Chris Barton, BPCC CEO, said the event aimed to “promote the agricultural export sector and rural tourism, and bring together players from complementary sectors so they can help each other over mutual concerns”.
It also aimed to promote closer collaboration between the local council and private investors, as well as to “develop a new 'cluster' of Chamber members and show how the BPCC can act as a catalyst for trade promotion”.
Chris Barton, Rita de Lacerda e Mello
and Odemira Mayor José Guerreiro
Chris Barton also explained that the BPCC has “three main centres of activity – Porto, Lisbon and the Algarve - but there are many other clusters of British expats in other regions (like the Alentejo) and we wish to reach out to them”.
Around 25 representatives from local enterprises took the opportunity to network. Some of the companies present were Bambuparque Lda, one of the world's biggest bamboo nurseries located near S. Teotónio; Monchique-based Wild About Honey, which produces honey to export to other European countries including the UK; Eco Trails, which offers bike rides and canoeing; Credential Partners, which promotes investment into Portugal via Portugal’s Golden Visa programme; and Macfarlan Smith, one of the world's biggest pharmaceutical supplier specialising in opiate narcotics such as codeine and morphine.
Catering services were provided by the Escola Profissional de Odemira.
Odemira Mayor José Guerreiro, also in attendance, spoke to the Resident about the importance of these events. “These networking events are very important for our region. Tourism is a vital industry in Odemira. In our borough alone we have 42 rural lodgings. We've also been growing thanks to internationalisation, as most of the touristic and agricultural investments here come from foreigner investors.”
Chris Barton explained that the BPCC has been established in Portugal for 103 years and organises around 50 events annually throughout the country. “We have a strong membership in Porto, Lisbon and Algarve, and we would love to open another little cluster in this area,” he said.
By Sara Alves