We combine new ideas, insights, and first-hand experience to help governments translate public policy into a compelling vision for building the foundations of sustainable development and putting citizens, communities, workers, and the private sector at the centre of progress. Let us help you reach your goals.

What we do


We provide economic and policy consultancy to governments and the private sector in areas where economic, social, and environmental dimensions interact, bringing together all stakeholders to create fast-paced growth and prosperity.

How to accelerate sustainable development


The digital revolution and climate transition open windows of opportunity for countries and companies to take quick actions and accelerate development, bypassing less efficient and more polluting technologies, and moving directly towards more advanced and sustainable technologies. Our role is to help you identify the conditions necessary to leapfrog and succeed in your development strategies and business plans.

Five steps to help you achieve your goals


1: Be strategic

2: Plan effectively

3: Assess Risks

4: Seize Opportunities

5: Build-up

Our Services

Macroeconomic Analysis

Macroeconomic analysis plays a crucial role in guiding nations' economic policies and strategies. We provide expertise and recommendations across a wide range of macroeconomic areas to guide governments and businesses in making sound economic decisions about fiscal and monetary policies, investment strategies, and financial planning. We focus on promoting stable and sustainable economic development, while addressing challenges linked to income inequality and resource allocation. By following sound macroeconomic advice, governments and policymakers can promote economic stability and improve the overall well-being of their citizens. Our advice is also invaluable in helping businesses navigate the complex landscape of the national economy.

Sustainable Development

Sustainable development is critical to shaping a future that balances economic growth, social progress, and environmental conservation. It encompasses a range of initiatives and policies aimed at mitigating the adverse effects of global warming and fostering environmental sustainability. Our guidance involves recommending strategies and policies that prioritize meeting present needs without compromising the needs of future generations. We provide advice and strategies to promote renewable energy solutions, responsible resource management, equitable social systems and eco-friendly practices across sectors. By following advice on sustainable development, governments and businesses can pave the way for a green deal of lasting economic growth and prosperity, where both human advancement and environmental conservation coexist harmoniously.

Public Finance

Governments are under constant pressure to mobilize financial resources to develop their economies and create better outcomes for their citizens. Due to pressure, public financial institutions often opt for one-off and hasty reforms that, in many cases, have perverse effects both on resource mobilization, increasing the burden on taxpayers, and on public spending, increasing inefficiency in public investment and delivery of goods and services. Public finance advice is critical to helping governments effectively manage their financial resources and make prudent fiscal decisions. Our guidance concerns areas such as budget allocation, taxation, public expenditure, public investment, and debt sustainability management, in line with macroeconomic stability, long-term fiscal sustainability and sustainable development goals.

Industrial Policy

Industrial policy is instrumental in guiding governments and policymakers on effective strategies to support and nurture industries in their countries, promoting sustainable economic growth. Our consultancy involves offering expertise in identifying strategic sectors, market trends and supply chains, and formulating policies that encourage innovation and competitiveness, and creating an environment conducive to industrial advancement. By following this advice, governments can implement measures that attract investment, stimulate job creation, and improve industrial capabilities, thereby contributing to overall economic progress, while ensuring responsible and balanced development in line with broader social and environmental goals.

Business Environment

Sound business environment policies are crucial for governments and regulators to create an ecosystem conducive to economic growth, sustainable business practices and responsible business behaviour committed to people and the planet. We base our analysis on national, regional, and global economic trends and opportunities, industries dynamics and global best practices. We support governments in developing policies and regulations that attract domestic and foreign investment, promote new technologies and innovations, stimulate job creation, and increase the overall competitiveness of a nation's economic activities. We also support companies to proactively respond to changes and make informed decisions, capitalize on emerging opportunities, and build a resilient foundation for long-term success.

Global Partnerships

Global partnerships are essential in today's interconnected world, where collaboration between countries, multilateral institutions, organisations, and individuals is crucial for mutual growth and prosperity. Our advice involves offering insights into the formation and nurturing of such partnerships and providing recommendations that facilitate effective communication, cooperation, and financial support. We have in-depth knowledge of how the European Union, IMF, World Bank, African Development Bank, and other multilateral organizations work and can help our clients to establish fruitful partnerships with these organizations to support them in sustainable development solutions. By following our advice, entities can leverage their collective strengths, expand their reach, drive innovation, and address sustainable development goals (SDGs) more effectively.

Economic Globalization

Economic integration and globalization play a significant role in promoting cooperation and maximizing the benefits resulting from the interconnection of people and markets. Our advice involves better understanding the geopolitical and geoeconomic dynamics of the current international order to provide sound recommendations that enable countries and companies to make informed decisions about trade agreements, supply chains, export strategies and foreign investment. This advice helps countries promote economic growth and expand business opportunities, while safeguarding their industries and national interests and ensuring that the benefits are broadly shared for a more inclusive global economy.

Let's work together

My name is José Correia Nunes, founder and Executive Director of Firsthand Economic Consulting. It was my own experience dealing with public policy that inspired me to name our firm Firsthand Economic Consulting. I have worked for the European Commission for over 25 years in a variety of roles, including Head of Department “Macroeconomic Analysis, Public Finance and Budget Support”, and areas, such as economic development, public finance, macroeconomic analysis, business environment and private sector, trade policy, poverty reduction, and regional integration.

I have been posted as Head of EU Cooperation in Mozambique, Zambia, and Tanzania. I also spent two years as Executive Director of the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe in Portugal, where I worked on issues related to migration, human rights, democracy and the rule of law. I am a former lecturer of Macroeconomics at the University of Laval, Canada, and worked for 6 years in the Ministries of Revenue and Finance in Quebec, Canada. 

I have a PhD in Economics from the University of Laval in Canada.

My role is to lead our excellent team and ensure that our services meet the highest quality standards. We believe that governments have a key role to play in laying the groundwork for sustainable development and the prosperity of their citizens. But we also firmly believe that the real actors who make things happen are citizens, communities, workers and the private sector. Our unique approach is not only what sets us apart, but also what makes us successful. Our company is guided by a strong set of values, including a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion. We bring in world-class experts to support our clients in creating positive, lasting change in society.

By trusting us, our clients know they are putting their projects in good hands.

Insights by José Correia Nunes

Five steps to help you...

Be strategic

... By aligning your actions with your goals.

Plan effectively

... By establishing clear priorities and allocating resources effectively.

Assess Risks

... By assessing potential threats or uncertainties that could impact your activities.

Seize Opportunities

... By taking advantage of favourable circumstances that can accelerate your achievements.


… By making incremental improvements to achieve greater stability, strength, and resilience.

How can we support you?