Riopele “a company with a strong tradition in the sector”

Within the scope of “COMPETE 2020 close to those who create value”, Riopele was one of the companies chosen by the president of COMPETE 2020 who stated that “this is a company that seeks to be comprehensive in its business philosophy with respect to covering the whole value chain, with a particular emphasis given to upstream activities. This leads to a special care with regards to productive efficiency and constant innovation, deriving comparative advantages through the adoption of cutting-edge productive processes, thus remaining competitive in the world market”.

Rui Vinhas da Silva added that “the company has a strong tradition in a sector in which it has operated for decades and this continuity owes much to the resilience, management ability and strong leadership of those that steer its course and shape its destiny as it does to a philosophy of constant innovation that comes across clearly”.


Brief History of Riopele 

Riopele’s mission focuses its activities in the creation and production of value added fabric collections for clothing. Oriented to the satisfaction of customer needs, Riopele's main distinctive elements are innovation, quality and reliability.

Located at Pousada de Saramagos, in the municipality of Vila Nova de Famalicão, Riopele is one of the oldest and most reputable companies in the Portuguese textile industry, having completed 88 years in 2015. Starting as a small family business, Riopele evolved into a large scale organization, vertically integrating the areas of spinning, weaving, dyeing and finishing.

Today it is one of the companies of reference in the Portuguese textile sector and a major national export company. Riopele operates worldwide through a vast network of agents which allows for the export of about 98% of its fashion fabrics production for clothing.

The company's main markets are the USA, Germany, Spain, Italy, France and Britain. Riopele’s facilities cover a total area of 170 thousand square meters, and of that more than 139 square meters are of covered surface. The company's production capacity exceeds seven hundred thousand meters of fabric per month.

Marked by a great determination in pursuing its objectives of growth and social responsibility, Riopele’s route is associated with the Oliveira family, to whom it has always belonged. The current administration is headed by José Alexandre de Oliveira, grandson of the founder.


“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.

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.



Site – versão em inglês 


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