“Did you know that the swimsuit that catapulted Michael Phelps to several gold medals in successive Olympic Games was developed and manufactured by a Portuguese firm? That company is PETRATEX”, claims the president of COMPETE 2020, Rui Vinhas da Silva as he visited Petratex within the scope of “COMPETE 2020: close to those who create value” an initiative aimed at bridging the gap between public administration and firms in the portuguese economy.

According to the president of COMPETE 2020, Rui Vinhas da Silva “Petratex found its market niche in technical textiles, with a strong focus on the demanding segment of sports goods. Petratex combines an emphasis on research and development (so as to seek solutions to concrete problems that confer to the athlete critical competitive advantages in their performance) with a refined market orientation and technical problem-solving philosophy”. Rui Vinhas da Silva emphasized that “the use of Petratex technology by globally renowned athletes in international events, has resulted in extremely sophisticated products that are at the cutting-edge in their respective segments. Therefore, elite athletes act as true ambassadors of the brand, creating a powerful effect on consumers who wish to emulate their idol’s performance, and even much more important than that, identify with the values that such athletes personify. Petratex focusses on private-label with great effectiveness but, who knows, the company may progress even further down the value chain in specific niches, thus optimizing its excellence in innovation practices and processes”.


Brief History of Petratex

Founded in 1989 in Portugal, Petratex is a company that operates in several areas and has acquired a leading position in the textile industry. Their sharp business acumen and vast know-how allow them to supply a wide range of products to a global market, within their main targets: Fashion, Sport and High-tech Products. Petratex combines in itself unique concepts that integrate technology, scientific research, service, design and a talented team.

Their diversified product lines are the result of an intense and thorough research, conducted by an exceptional team of specialized and passionate experts.

At Petratex they are permanently committed to the study and research of all that is connected to their industry, their market, their economic environment and, of course, their customers.  This is the result of a mind-set focused on continuous improvement and innovation.

The combination of all these components and the constant strive to achieve excellence, turn their self-improvement attitude into a daily obsession. This has allowed them to achieve and maintain a strong differential and competitive advantage over their competitors. 

Petratex has developed an internal culture deeply rooted in its history, its projects, its achievements and, above all else, to its people. 

The individual is, for Petratex, at the core of its business. He is the heart of the work, both as a responsible agent and as a close link to the society and the world in which Petratex it operates.


“COMPETE 2020: close to those who create value” 

On the 18th of November 2015, the president of COMPETE 2020 Rui Vinhas da Silva began a weeklong visit to companies in the textiles and fashion sectors.

These are sectors of economic activity that have experienced growth in exports in the order of 9,5% in 2014 (ANIVEC). From 2009 to 2014, these sectors saw export sales rocket by a staggering 29%. Within the textile sector exports of clothing represented 60,2% of 2014 total exports, and contributed to the balance of trade with a surplus of 967 million euros.

The visit by the Chairman of COMPETE 2020 is part of a wider agenda to bring firms who are keen on exporting their goods and internationalize their economic activity on the one hand and COMPETE 2020 on the other closer and closer together as both sides share a common purpose, that of increasing exports and substituting imports, thus contributing to a structurally healthier balance of trade. 

By identifying the set of critical factors for economic growth that are inherent to successful export strategies, by acting in a consistent and systematic way, by adding value to tradable goods, committing to incorporate innovation, applied knowledge and marketing, listing what is necessary to do to remove the structural and behavioral barriers to direct external investment, it will be be possible to create the conditions for sustained economic growth in Portugal via competitiveness and exports, all of which materializes the ultimate objective of COMPETE 2020.

The visits included a group of companies with differing market positions, which shows the wealth of diversity and strong dynamic that Portuguese companies have demonstrated over the last decade. Companies like Salsa (Irmãos Vila Nova, S.A.), Calvelex, Laranjinha (Hall&CA), Petratex, Fiorima, Damel, P&R Têxteis S.A., Grupo Polopique are fine examples of this.

According to Rui Vinhas da Silva, president of COMPETE 2020, the visits within the scope of “COMPETE 2020:close to those who create value”, showed that the textiles and clothing sector which has undergone severe turmoil with the opening of the European markets to China and the 2008 crisis, were able to reinvent themselves, having acquired sustainable competitive advantages anchored in tangible differentiation (sophisticated processes and products) thus improving the competitiveness of the Portuguese economy. Less has been done on the branding (both corporate and product) front, but progress has been made.






15/04/2016 , Por Cátia Silva Pinto
Portugal 2020
Rui Vinhas da Silva
COMPETE 2020 close to those who create value
President of COMPETE 2020