Delegation From Asian Industry Visits ‘Bike Value Portugal’
AGUEDA, Portugal – In the context of the current initiatives to create more supply chain flexibility in order to increase the speed to market of the bicycle industry in Europe, a big delegation of supplying companies from Asia visited Portugal last week. The delegation checked out Bike Value Portugal which is turning into a major production center and they learned about conditions to set up production here.
The delegation of some of Asia’s leading bicycle industry players consisted of representatives from companies based in China, Taiwan and Vietnam. They spent a week in Portugal on a visit through Friday, 8 July. The visit was organized in collaboration between Portuguese industry association ABIMOTA and multinational sports chain Decathlon as part of Portugal Bike Value, a programme co-funded by COMPETE 2020. The initiative also had the support from the municipalities of Águeda, Anadia and Aveiro, the Regional Tourism Authority, and ABIMOTA members RTE (Gaia) and Polisport.
Showcasing Portugal’s capabilities
The initiative aimed to showcase Portugal’s capabilities and potential business opportunities in the sector to the Asian delegation, in a bid to attract foreign direct investments. More important than Asian manufacturers sourcing from Portugal would be for them to, “set up manufacturing operations in our country”, so “they need to be convinced to locate here to share specific component know-how that is currently lacking in Portugal,” says ABIMOTA President João Pires. “We already have the expertise, the infrastructure and the talent. Portugal is at the ‘centre of the world’ and is building recognition as a Soft Mobility Cluster,” he says.
Third in EU bicycle production
Didier Morelle, Decathlon’s purchasing director, led the welcome session with an overview of the sector and its strong development in Europe. Morelle praised the performance of bicycle and parts manufacturers in Portugal, which currently ranks third in bicycle production in Europe.
In his opening address on Monday, 4 July, Aveiro Mayor and CIRA Chairman Ribau Esteves explained that Aveiro is recognized as a veritable ‘bicycle capital’ and, according to CCDR Centro Chairwoman Ana Abrunhosa, as, “a region with high potential and a good environment for investment.”
Benefits of investing in Portugal
Maria João Gomes, from the Portuguese trade and investment agency, AICEP, underlined the benefits of investing in Portugal for Asian manufacturers, noting that the “time is right to invest” and that AICEP, “is available to provide full support to investors through its team of specialists.”
Gateway into European market
The welcome session ended with an address by Professor Miguel Cruz, chairman of the Institute for Support to Small and Medium Enterprises and Innovation, IAPMEI. He emphasized the country’s potential as a gateway into the European market and that IAPMEI is available to assist companies in locating in Portugal.
The visits and meetings with companies and institutions in the region continued to Thursday in a programme designed jointly by ABIMOTA and Decathlon that included visits to AJ Maias, Epedal, SRAM, Laboratório ABIMOTA (LEA), Miranda & Irmão, Retsacoat, Ciclo Fapril, Miralago, Polisport and RTE.