Portugal PM wants closer economic ties with India

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Jan 09, 2017

aBengaluru: While Portugal’s annual exports to India are worth €1,200 million, India exports to Portugal are only worth €500 million. So it is the right time to boost trade and investment between the two nations, said Portugal Prime Minister António Costa.

Addressing industry bodies such as CII, FICCI and Assocham, Costa, said “The aim of my visit is to review and adapt our relationship to address both present and future challenges. We want to enhance our relationship and extend it to a strategic partnership with ambitious targets in new areas of cooperation.”

Talking about tourism, Costa said, “Tourist flows and balance of service between the two countries is also very low. It is this situation that needs to change.”

He assured full support to Portuguese and Indian companies keen on investing in each other’s countries. “It is well known that Portugal and India have centuries old relationships based on historical, cultural and personal ties but despite that commercial relationship is still quite insignificant.”

India and Portugal have complementary economies and can take advantage of being part of different regions and markets. There are great opportunities that can be explored both in terms of trade and investment.

Manuel Caldeira Cabral, Portugal Minister of Economy, said that Portugal is a very open economy and can be the gateway for India to enter the EU market.
“Portugal is also a platform for doing business with Portuguese speaking countries all-around the world particularly in Africa and Latin America. The country witnessed the highest growth rate in the EU in 2016, investment is recovering with a strong base of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the country is inviting co-operation in sectors such as science and technology, Infrastructure, renewable energy, startups, agriculture and food processing, water and waste management, tourism, pharmaceuticals, automotive products and defense,” he added. Ravi Raghavan, Chairman of CII Karnataka, said there is a strong need for the two nations to build on their historical relationship and transform it.

Portugal and India are very strong in industry verticals such as information technology, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, alternative energy, tourism, agro products, fisheries and a host of other sectors, and he called upon both countries to realize the full potential that a combined effort can bring about.”

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