Una interesante reflexión de Fletcher sobre Portugal, que también se puede aplicar a la España actual cuando decimos que tenemos que crear una fuerte industria de alta tecnología. Eso, sencillamente, no sucederá en la situación actual. Poco más de 50 millones de inversión en 2014 son la prueba.
“What happened to Portugal? It had actually been happening for over a century by the time Ricardo wrote, largely in rationalization of existing conditions. In 1703, in the Treaty of Methuen, Portugal exempted England from its prohibition on the importation of woolen cloth, while England agreed to admit Portuguese wines at a tariff one-third less than that applied to competitors. This treaty merely switched suppliers for the English, who did not produce wine, but it admitted a deluge of cheap English cloth into Portugal—which wiped out its previously promising textile industry. English capital eventually took control of Portugal’s vineyards as their owners went into debt to London banks, and English influence sabotaged attempts at industrial policy that might have pushed Portugal back into textiles or other manufacturing industry. As textiles were (as they remain today) the first stepping stone to more-sophisticated industries, this all but prevented Portugal’s further industrialization. Not until the 1960s, under the Salazar dictatorship, did any Portuguese government make a serious attempt to dig itself out of this trap and to this day, Portugal has not recovered its 17th-century position relative to other European economies, and remains the poorest country in Western Europe.”