Food & Beverage

May 1, 2016

Connecting Lisbon to the World

The Lisbon Business Connections (LBC), existing for one year, is an entrepreneurship promotional platform of Lisbon city, where the Connectors are the main ambassadors. Their importance is connected to that of LBC, given that LBC itself will become what they make of it, reflecting the competences, energy and will they will dedicate to establishing this organisation.

The LBC was publically launched in February, 2015, by the then Mayor of Lisbon city, and current Prime-Minister of Portugal, António Costa. He was supported by the agency "Invest Lisboa", an agency that resulted from the partnership between the City Government and the oldest Association of Portuguese Companies - the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Portugal (CCIP) – and its founding partners were the Tourism of Portugal, ANA – "Portugal Airports", the Portuguese Foreign Investment and Commerce Agency (AICEP - Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal), the Port of Lisbon, and "Baía do Tejo", a Business Parks Management Company.

It is a platform for promoting entrepreneurship in Lisbon, whose principal ambassadors, both national and international, are the so-called Connectors.

In its portfolio, it already lists seven executive meetings, in which 130 top-managers of multinationals were participating. Since its very first year it bet on a structuring initiative involving three of the "Big Four" (Deloitte, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers), the reference-nomenclature for the four biggest companies specialized in audit and consultancy all over the world, which were joined by other prestigious international companies. In total, nine companies debated and identified 32 measures to position Lisbon as a preference destination for the internalization of companies as well as for new global investments. The year was highlighted by workshops dedicated to co-establishment of the LBC, involving key-people of merit from the realms of economy, business, arts, culture, education and investigation, coordinated in partnership with EVERIS Portugal, a multinational consultancy company which offers solutions in the sphere of business, strategy, technological applications elaboration and maintenance, as well as outsourcing. For fields such as tax and administrative simplification, "LBC Breakfasts" were organized, uniting brilliant lawyers, businessmen and government staff, coordinated in partnership with PwC e a VdA´s Group (another multinational organisation).

One can state that the importance of the Connectors is merged with the importance of the LBC platform, and the latter will become what the Connectors make of it, reflecting their competencies, energy and goodwill dedicated to its establishment.

The year of 2015 was furthermore marked, and memorised by all the Connectors of Lisbon, by the "Sunset Network" meeting which took place at Cais das Colunas, at Terreiro do Paço, in Lisbon, during the rentrée after the summer. The "Sunsets LBC" invite the Connectors, partners and potential members of this network to meet in an environment that explores the best features of Lisbon: overwhelming landscapes, unique products and services. These events emphasize the beauty, safety, peacefulness and conviviality that attract talents and staff for a new, or renewed, urban life. They spawn the confidence that Lisbon allows to conciliate the intense professional activity with countless business opportunities on the background of fantastic quality of life. The sponsor of this first meeting was "Confraria do Arinto de Bucelas", a wine of the Lisbon region, internationally awarded, which was offered for degustation of the guests by Connector Ms. Esmeralda Raposo, Vice-President of "Confraria", and Connector Mr. Antonio Marques Leitão, General Director of Wine Ventures.

The mission of each Connector is to attract to Lisbon foreign companies that are internationally expanding, taking advantage of the connectivity provided by the network and its multiplying effects. The latter give impulse to new business opportunities, investments, or jobs. By doing this, they are cooperating with the city, thus expanding the knowledge and experiences, as well as the personal and professional profile.

For this, the Connectors are the true informal ambassadors of the city. Interconnected by a digital platform, they are also invited to participate in events, to contribute with their ideas and solutions for the city's challenges, in the framework of the economy and innovations, as well as sharing contacts for the reinforcement of Lisbon's competitiveness at a global scale.

Another goal of the LBC platform is to be a vehicle to spread the reasons for choosing this European Capital as a destination for new investments, or for the establishment of new companies.

The first Connectors of Lisbon were major names, CEOs of global companies, partners, including those of the "Big Four", the major consultants known all over the world. The initiative was launched by the municipality of Lisbon and by Regional and National institutions that are a part of the founding partnership, and of the private sector. Since then, the platform was joined by superior technical staff and officials, top-managers and businessmen, entrepreneurs, and others who, because of their social and professional circumstances, can contribute to the mentioned objectives. 

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