Main challenges and opportunities for the future
Similarly to other small economies, the economy is more vulnerable in terms of response to crises. In addition, there are still development challenges due to the archipelago’s geographical position, which entails extra costs for goods and services (transport, logistics, energy), as well as constraints on economic and social integration with other national and EU territories. There is also a lack of critical mass for certain economic, financial or scientific projects. Furthermore, it is difficult to balance the traditional production processes, local living conditions and protection of the environment and ecosystems with the need to boost the local economy in order to compete in a globalised world.
Nevertheless, the region also offers many opportunities due to its geostrategic position and its biodiversity (it is an Atlantic link to other continents). The tourism potential anchored in valuable natural and cultural heritage is also of great importance for the regional economy. The Azores is also exposed to climate change-related phenomena. However, this too can represent an opportunity to develop pilot projects for mitigation and adaption measures, and some such projects are already under way, such as geothermic energy production in the Azores. Read more about EP briefing about Azores