According to Sapo news, the paper "Unlocking Portugal's ambitions for artificial intelligence in the digital decade", released on 1 February, is an independent study by Strand Partners commissioned by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

"In general terms, the study concludes that 35 percent of companies in Portugal have already adopted AI technology, an increase of 25 percent since 2022," says the study, adding that "if this rate of adoption continues" of artificial intelligence "the total estimated economic impact" in GVA "would reach 61 billion euros by 2030", in other words, within six years.

However, to take advantage of the potential of this technology, "Portugal has to resolve three critical issues: creating an environment for innovation; closing the digital skills gap in the country; and ensuring that companies of all sizes have access to the latest technologies," the document reads.

According to the study, "companies have increased their investments in digital technology by 61 percent since September 2022", which is 10 percentage points above the European average (51 percent).

More than a third (35 percent) adopted AI technologies last year, "compared to 28 percent in 2022, a growth rate of 25 percent in just one year".

On the other hand, 87 percent of companies "have heard of AI technologies and 35 percent know the technology well", while 71 percent say that "difficulties in hiring HR [Human Resources] with good digital skills are holding back their growth - compared to a European average of 44 percent".

In addition, "a significant 60 percent of Portuguese citizens believe that AI could be key to solving global problems such as climate change," the study says.

"The positive economic impact of AI on Portuguese companies is clear: 70 percent of companies that use AI report an increase in revenue and productivity," however, the use of AI and other digital technologies "is currently concentrated in larger companies (45 percent compared to just 32 percent of SMEs)," reads the document.

Almost two-thirds (64%) of Portuguese companies believe that AI "will completely or largely transform their sectors" and 77% "say that digital technology plays an important or even essential role in achieving their five-year growth objectives".

For example, cloud AI among Portuguese companies "has grown to 27 percent by 2023, with the majority of companies (81 percent) having already heard of the technology, slightly lower than the European average of 85 percent".

Between 2017 and 2022, AWS will invest "more than 21 billion euros in Europe's economic and digital future".

"Portugal is facing an unprecedented opportunity," said Suzana Curic, the new AWS country leader in Portugal and Spain, quoted in a statement.

The study is based on a national sample of 1,000 companies and 1,000 citizens, with data collected in 2023.