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Editorial – … And the winner is: Portugal!

201502_imagem_moedas“The Central Bank of Switzerland took the world by surprise. The decision to leave the minimum threshold of quotation against the euro triggered a real “tsunami effect” in the financial world, imposing heavy losses in their wake. The Swiss franc came to shoot 40% against the euro, eroding millions of investment portfolios. “

That was how the news about the decision of the Swiss National Bank to abolish the rule of the minimum exchange rate of the Swiss Franc against the Euro, established provisionally in 2011, has been reviewed in the media. It was indeed a shock. But a shock has always losers and winners.

… And the winner is: Portugal! Interestingly there was no word in the Portuguese comments about the opportunities that this exchange rate shock brought. So I decided to do it in this editorial. The fact that the Swiss franc is now worth close to one euro causes enormous pressure on the Swiss export industry. Margins, already small, were crushed. The biggest losers are the Swiss companies. They now will have to act: Either they can further reduce their costs of production or alternatively make an outsourcing. And at this point Portugal comes in: Manufacturing high quality products at a very competitive costs. That’s what Portugal does very well, and what in these circumstances can offer.

So in a Portuguese perspective do not sing the “fado” over the shock, what – to my surprise – the Portuguese media made. Focus rather on the positive side: Portuguese companies, this is your chance to profit and to prepare great proposals to Swiss companies! The latter will for sure have the openness for partnership proposals that help them to optimize their cost structure.

Enjoy your work!

Gregor Zemp
General secretary

Editorial February 2015