As one of the largest companies established in the Carregado area and in the municipality of Alenquer, located 40 km from Lisbon, MCG plays an active role and is concerned about the economic and social situation around it.
Representing the Municipality of Alenquer, Paulo Franco gives us the municipality’s perspective on the increasing importance of organizations like MCG in the region they are located in.
Magazine M: As an agent of economic and social dynamism, how do you consider companies like MCG important for the municipality?
The presence of companies like MCG in any territory should be seen as of enormous relevance and with a high impact on its development. As a councilor of the Municipality of Alenquer, with responsibility for the economy, I am extremely proud to have the MCG company headquartered in our municipality.
It has a positive impact on employing hundreds of families, thus greatly contributing to the retention of people, especially young people, in the municipality. It is also highly regarded for its advanced technological capabilities, making it a reference at the national and international levels.
MCG is also a significant player in the industrial sector of the Alenquer municipality and the automotive components industry cluster in the region.
Magazine M: What kind of partnerships are yet to be established between the Municipality and companies like MCG?
The Municipality has approached the need to establish connections with the local business community with a clear purpose. If we want to have a strong and competitive territory capable of retaining and attracting people, it is essential to have strong companies with a strong export component that can create wealth. This has been our concern, which is also strongly supported by the feedback we have received from the responsible individuals in our companies.
For example, the Municipality can now say that it is a concrete and objective partner for its business sector in terms of supporting investments that will be made in the municipality. We have regulations in place to support such initiatives by companies. I believe that the creation of the Strategic Business Council is also an excellent indicator of our commitment to being a partner to our companies and being closer to our business community.
In response to the question, I think several issues and topics need to be addressed so that the municipality can effectively provide more direct support in finding solutions. We are working together towards this goal. The meetings that have resumed after the pandemic with a group of companies that have a significant impact on the territory will undoubtedly serve as a good mechanism to strengthen the partnership between the municipality and the companies.
Magazine M: What is the municipality’s top priority regarding employment in the municipality of Alenquer?
The municipality of Alenquer’s main priority regarding employment is to invest in Technical and Vocational Training. In fact, as proof of this intention, the last meeting of the Strategic Business Council established a working team whose objective is to define the general guidelines of an action plan to be implemented in the municipality.
As a result of the lack of policies promoting vocational education, Portugal is currently facing a serious problem with a shortage of resources that can meet the needs of companies, which has a significant impact on the country’s economy. The lack of human resources is a reality in all business sectors today, including the social sector itself.
For example, vocational schools need to align their programs with the needs of companies in their respective areas. A student who completes their vocational course in the 12th grade should be able to find job opportunities in their municipality. This will only happen if the school aligns its programs with the local demands. In this regard, Municipal Councils play a decisive role, and I believe that although much still needs to be done, the Municipality of Alenquer is on the right track.
Magazine M: What investments are planned to support MCG and other industries/large companies in the municipality of Alenquer?
In my opinion, the greatest investment that the Municipality can make in its business community is to always be available to listen and accompany them, thus aiming to be an active and participative partner.
It is through this close collaboration that we understand the difficulties that companies face in finding workers with specific skills, and as I mentioned before, we are working to find solutions. The creation of an investment support regulation is also an example of how the Municipality intends to be a partner to its business community. Under this regulation, the Municipality can now provide benefits, tax exemptions, or even non-repayable financial support, depending on the type of investment.
Another goal we aim to achieve is the creation of a tech hub. This project is designed to focus on qualified entrepreneurship, professional training, and intrapreneurship, with strong links to universities. It is a commitment stated in our manifesto and is also a priority for the mayor.
Magazine M: What improvements are planned in the coming years for the industrial and business areas in the Carregado parish?
Indeed, this topic is extremely important, and the Municipality has considered it a legitimate priority. When we talk about the competitiveness of the business sector, we cannot overlook the need to invest in the areas where our companies are located. This factor plays a significant role in the competitiveness of companies and, consequently, in the territories themselves.
One of the main investments that the Municipality intends to make in this regard is the creation of a dedicated drainage network for the Carregado Industrial Zone, which may involve the construction of a new industrial wastewater treatment plant (ETAR). A study has already been conducted to analyze the type of drainage and treatment network for domestic and industrial wastewater from the Carregado Industrial Zone. Based on this study, various investment scenarios with their respective budget estimates have been considered. These are significant investments, and without the support of European funds, their implementation becomes very challenging.