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Blue Economy Observatory
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Portuguese Blue Economy in clear acceleration in the last four years (2015-2018): Exports increase 25%, Company’s GVA grows 30% and Merchant Navy rises 94%


The Ocean Sector has known a fast-growing economic impulse over the four-year period that corresponds to the last parliamentary term (2015-19).


According to the analysis made by Ministry of Sea’s Blue Economy Observatory, the exports of marine goods in 2018 increased by 25% when compared to 2015.


In the last year, the blue sector registered more than 2 billion euros in exports (2 186 740 724 €), almost 500 million more than the value reached in 2015 (1 753 761 953 €).


The growth of the Portuguese Blue Economy also occurs in the Gross Value Added (GVA) of the companies in the Ocean Sector. According to the analysis of the Blue Economy Observatory, this value represented 3.4% of the GVA of all the companies of the National Economy in 2017.


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For comparison purposes, this same indicator was on 2.86% by 2015, thus indicating an increase in the order of 30% in two years and almost doubling the values registered in the previous legislature. If this growth rate is to be maintained, it will be possible to reach the target set by the Minister of Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino, for 2020: a 5% contribution from the Ocean Sector to the GVA of the National Economy.

Indeed, the analysis of the Ministry of Sea’s Blue Economy Observatory demonstrates a route of clear sustained growth. The GVA growth rate of Blue Economy companies in 2017 is 14.94%, almost twice the growth rate of the GVA of the National Economy companies (7.85%) in the previous legislature, which illustrates the development drive that the Portuguese Maritime Sector has known throughout this term. This is a result of the policies taken to promote the Blue Economy, such as the strategy to increase port competitiveness, and the innovation felt in all sea sectors, oceanic renewable energies, aquaculture and merchant navy.


Among the areas with the largest growth between 2015 and 2018, the merchant navy stands out, with a 94% increase in the number of vessels and 269% in the deadweight tonnage (DWT), corresponding to a further 14 thousand tons.


The port activity also registered a remarkable increase in the same period, with a 56% increase in the Ro-Ro cargo movement and a 20% increase in the containerized cargo movement.


Finally, it is also worth noticing the growth of the cruise activity in the continent, with a passenger increase of 21%, and the 21% rise in the exports of fishing products, corresponding to an increase in the volume of exports of almost 200 million euros.

Exports from the Sea Economy, 2015 to 2018 (Billions)

Weight of the GVA of the Blue Economy Companies on the GVA of National Economy Companies (%)

GVA Growth Rate of the Blue Economy Companies vs National Economy Companies (%)

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