Andorra is preparing to deal with the consequences of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the Andorran government has unveiled a new action plan entitled “Horitzó 23 (H23)”, which outlines a series of measures for reactivating the country’s economy.
What does “Horitzó 23” include?
This strategic plan comprises 77 actions, spread across 20 initiatives, which are based on three main pillars: social welfare, the economy and innovation, and other measures focused on digital transformation and internationalisation.
Above all, this programme arose from a determination to overcome the negative effects of the pandemic and was introduced with a time frame that runs until the end of 2023. In July, in the wake of the extraordinary circumstances we had experienced, Andorra found itself with approximately 1,300 unemployed people, the largest figure in the country’s history. Meanwhile, GDP recorded a fall of 10% alongside a deficit calculated at around 111 million euros.
The government has a budget of 80 million euros to counter this situation, of which 38% will be earmarked for investment. The investments that will be made by Andorra Telecom and FEDA, the country’s electricity company, should also be included as they will result in improvements for the principality, bringing the total to 212 million euros.
New measures to stimulate the economy until 2023
Following an analysis of the overall situation, the pandemic has brought to light the challenges that the country is facing. One of the most critical issues is the diversification of the economy, as it is almost entirely focused on the service and tourism sectors. On the one hand, the key commitment is the digital economy through encouraging the creation of new businesses and proposals related to e-commerce. However, we must not forget the tourism sector, which is actively pursuing new high-quality and sustainable models, with a focus on health tourism and sporting events associated with mountain sports.
Another area for improvement through digital transformation is the lack of administrative agility. Here the aim is to facilitate bureaucratic processes in general, but also when opening a company and in the standardisation of accounting procedures.
Among the priorities is the “attraction of international talent” by improving the criteria for obtaining residency for professions with international scope and individuals with large incomes.
The “Horitzó 23” action plan also intends to find new alternative routes of connection, which is why the promotion of La Seu de Urgel airport is being looked into along with the possibility of creating a national heliport.
Social measures and improving the welfare of the population are top of the agenda. This includes increasing pensions, raising the minimum wage and improving the availability of social housing.
With this comprehensive action plan, Andorra is meeting the challenge of revitalising the economy and overcoming the adverse effects of COVID-19 by 2023.