Madeira wants to boost its economy through startups and a payment system

An archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic is looking for startups and tech talent to boost its economic growth. Web3 entrepreneurs flock to this area.

The Portuguese archipelago of Madeira is praised for its natural beauty, but its aging population and pressing need for a diversified economy have led its local government to explore emerging technologies like blockchain.

According to Rogerio Gouveia, Finance Secretary of the Madeira Regional Government, emerging technology companies represent almost 30% of companies in the Madeira Free Zone, a special economic zone that offers tax incentives to companies. Exemption from capital gains tax in the EU and for qualifying companies.

“For companies wishing to establish themselves in the region, the main tax incentive is the Madeira Free Zone or International Business Center. This zone offers a preferential tax regime, limiting the corporate tax rate to a competitive maximum of 5%. It should be noted that this is not a tax haven. The regime operates within structured regulations and is subject to strict audits by both national tax authorities and the European Commission,” Gouveia told Cointelegraph during the Madeira Blockchain Conference.

The Portuguese island of Madeira. Source: David Bock/Pixabe

One of the companies behind Madeira’s Web3 ecosystem is Yacooba Labs, a software development company that uses blockchain technology to solve issues such as ticketing solutions, hypermarkets and ticket fraud.

In addition, Madeira’s tax incentives are related to other initiatives aimed at shifting the region’s focus from tourism to a technology-based economy, including an emphasis on information technology education in local schools. This contrasts with the island’s 50% illiteracy in the seventies.

See also  EY announces the consolidation of its Latin American region
Madeira’s Regional Secretary of Finance, Rogerio Covea, talks about the region’s efforts to attract startups and tech talent.

Madeira also operates a payment network that connects local merchants and facilitates currency exchange for tourists. Although still in the feasibility study phase, the network is likely to use blockchain technology to allow tourists to load and use debit cards across the archipelago for all products and services. The same card system will be used to streamline government functions, including providing social benefits such as education scholarships to citizens.

“We want to see if this model is viable. We are using Madeira as a laboratory for such a model, similar to how the region has been used in the past to test other technologies,” Gouveia said, adding that for decades, the archipelago has helped Portugal test other technologies such as 4G and cable television.

Cointelegraph was on the floor during the second edition of Madeira Blockchain 2023, held between November 30 and December 1. The conference brought together Web3 companies from around the world who are shaping tomorrow’s business models and technologies.

Clarification: The information and/or opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views or editorial line of Cointelegraph. The information provided herein should not be construed as financial advice or investment recommendation. All investments and business operations involve risks and are the responsibility of each person before making any investment decision.

Investments in crypto assets are not restricted. They may not suit retail investors and the entire amount invested may be lost. The services or products offered are not directed to or accessible to investors in Spain.

See also  Chefs fatten the economy

Read more

Local News