Microsoft Plan To Boost Portugal Economy

    February 2, 2006

Microsoft has said it will carry out 18 technology projects in Portugal as a way of boosting the country’s lagging economy.

The projects, as announced by Bill Gates and Prime Minister Jose Socrates, will, according to Reuters:

The projects include technology training for students, workers and police, aid in fighting cybercrime, apprenticeships, software development centres and programmes aimed at Portuguese-speaking African nations.

This is part of a larger program Socrates calls a “technology shock”, designed to bring Portugal’s economy in line with European Union growth.

As part of the programme, the government has launched English instruction in primary schools and provided all schools to broadband Internet links.

Red Herring says this is part of a general plan by Microsoft to improve relations with European countries, and show them that Microsoft is a very different company than the one they first sued years ago. Besides starting a program to train 3,000 Portugese textile workers unemployed due to foreign competition, Microsoft is:

  • Holding a three-day course in France providing training and support to entrepenuers
  • Adding another $25.2 million to fund Community Technology Centers to help people develop computer skills, bringing to $152 million the amount given in Unlimited Potential grants given to nonprofits that provide job training, technology skills, or build new CTCs
  • “Microsoft also said at the Lisbon Forum it would work with business development agencies and the venture capital community in Europe to help drive technology development in small businesses”
  • Providing equipment and IT skill to Chicago Lighthouse, a nonprofit that helps the blind and visually impared
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