The inland regions are essential for Portugal’s sustainable and lasting growth. Its valorization and development are fundamental to guarantee territorial balance and social cohesion, as well as to promote the economic and social development of the country.

In Portugal, the population concentration is high, with half of the population residing in two large urban centers, Lisbon and Porto, which represent only 5% of the territory. In the last 10 years, this imbalance has increased, with municipalities in the interior losing population in favor of those located on the coast.

In recent years, governments have promoted a policy of territorial cohesion to enhance the interior of the country. These measures include incentives to attract business investment, such as setting up companies, increasing production, promoting entrepreneurship and attracting qualified talent. The municipalities of the interior have also developed their own initiatives of valorization and development, from the promotion of culture and tourism to the attraction of companies and investments. Even with limited budgets, these municipalities have achieved good results.

The inland regions have great potential, which must be exploited. Quality of life is one of its main highlights, provided by environmental quality, greater mobility, a better balance between personal and professional life. Other important factors are the lower cost of living, more security, higher quality education and greater socialization.

The enhancement and development of inland regions requires the creation of technological conditions and accessibility. Internet coverage is a fundamental factor today, being a gap that makes it impossible to fix people indoors. Improving mobile coverage through incentives to install antennas is a solution to this problem.

Accessibility is another challenge, with the creation of new roads and improvements to existing ones being fundamental, as well as the commitment to rail, as a sustainable form of transport.

Territorial cohesion is a determining factor for sustainable development.

Fábio Jesuíno