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External Affairs Minister of India Visits Portugal, Addresses Indian Community in Lisbon

External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar, on the first leg of his four-day tour to Portugal and Italy, addressed the Indian community in Lisbon on November 1 in an event organized by the Indian Embassy. He was accompanied by the Portuguese Foreign Minister, Joao Gomes Cravinho. In his address, Dr. Jaishankar highlighted the existing bilateral relationship between the two countries and the need to strengthen it through various means. In the same light, he also pressed on the need to operate direct flights between India and Portugal to expand bilateral exchanges.

India-EU Ties

In his address, Dr. Jaishankar pointed out the crucial role played by Portugal in strengthening the relationship between the European Union and India. He also shared the transformation that is underway in India that provides new avenues for cooperation. In a post on the social media platform X, Dr. Jaishankar added that he had highlighted Portugal’s contribution in promoting closer India-EU ties. The Porto 2021 Summit is a milestone. Recognised the relevance of the Migration and Mobility Partnership in a global workplace.” He was referring to the summit that took place where EU leaders, European institutions, social partners, civil society representatives met to reinforce the ‘European Pillar of Social Rights’. In a joint statement he further highlighted that the first-ever India-EU Summit was actually held in 2000 under the Portuguese presidency. The first-ever India-EU leadership summit was also held in 2021 under the Portuguese presidency.”

Trade and Investment

Dr. Jaishankar also discussed contemporary challenges with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa. In a joint press statement with Joao Gomes Cravinho, he remarked on the amount of “new energy and activities across several sectors. Trade and investment are clearly strong driving forces. Indian companies like Indian IT companies, have made their mark in Portugal.” He also said that the Joint Economic Committee would definitely follow up on the various discussions held between the two leaders, and the fields of health, pharmaceuticals, and renewable energy would be explored more for further development. There were also discussions on defence cooperation, start-ups, and innovation. He added that direct air connectivity would also help improve tourism in both countries. Dr. Jaishankar also mentioned how India has been counting on Portugal to support its FTA negotiations with the EU. The agreement to oversee the recruitment of Indians in Portugal was also reviewed.

Apart from these, the EAM visited several other places of importance, including the Maritime Museum, where he was briefed about the ongoing project of the Maritime Heritage Complex in Gujarat that would further develop bilateral relations between the two countries. Jaishankar and Cravinho also discussed matters related to the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC) and situations in West Asia and the Indo-Pacific. This high-level visit of the Indian delegation to Portugal is expected to strengthen the existing bilateral relations between the two countries based on cultural and historical linkages. The two countries are set to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic ties in 2025.