Portugal Rising to Power in EU & Beyond

Portugal a member of European Union, located in SouthWestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula is one of the world’s most globalized and peaceful nations. Portugal is a pleasant weather nation, has a diverse landscape and presents a spectacular scenery for its visitors. Portuguese are friendly, warmth, gentle and generous in spirit. Refreshingly, the family is still central to the Portuguese way of life and takes a prominent position and priority for them. Portuguese cuisine has many Mediterranean influences, especially seafood is one of the famous and most loved food. The influence of Portugal’s former colonial possessions is also notable, especially in the wide variety of spices used.

In this inviting country you will discover radiant mountains and perpetual shorelines washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the sun. One will likewise discover royal residences that seem to have come out of a fairy tale. Portugal is home to a number of notable leading companies with worldwide reputations. It was ranked 46th in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2016- 2017. The Portuguese Third Republic is a Semi-Presidential system. On 24 January 2016, Rebelo de Sousa was elected as President of Portugal. Unlike other European presidents, the Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa is quite powerful. The Portuguese President enjoys enormous influence and control, particularly in the fields of national security and external strategy.

António Luís Santos da Costa, a Portuguese lawyer and politician is serving as Portuguese Prime Minister. As head of government, the Prime Minister facilitates the activities of priests, speaks to the Government of Portugal to alternate assortments of state, is responsible to Parliament and keeps the President informed. The Prime Minister can hold the part of head of government with the arrangement of at least one services.

Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres was officially appointed as the Secretary General United Nations in October 2016. Guterres was Portugal’s Prime Minister from 1995 to 2002 and U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 to 2015. Guterres beat out 12 other candidates, seven of whom were women, amid a push for the first woman to be elected. He aimed to have gender parity among senior U.N. leadership within his five-year term. Having witnessed the suffering of the most vulnerable people on earth, in refugee camps and in war zones, the Secretary-General is determined to make human dignity the core of his work, and to serve as a peace broker, a bridge-builder and a promoter of reform and innovation.

Mainland Portugal, along with the autonomous island regions of the Azores and Madeira, offers American exporters a market of approximately 10.6 million people in a country roughly the size of the State of Indiana. As an individual from the European Union (EU) and the Euro Zone, it is completely coordinated with the EU, utilizes the euro money, and takes after mandates from the European Commission in Brussels. Likewise, with all EU nations, Portugal’s outskirts and ports are totally open to the free stream of exchange with other EU part nations. Portugal has a politically stable condition with a justly chose parliamentary government and is inviting of remote business and venture.

Portugal rose up out of an expanded monetary emergency and effectively finished its European Union-IMF bailout program in 2014, enrolling moderate development, and diminishing, however still high, joblessness in 2014-2016. The auxiliary changes executed since 2011 have made a financial and administrative atmosphere that is positive to remote speculation which remains a need concentrating on specialty areas of the economy, for example, tourism, sustainable power source, excellent mechanical parts, innovation administrations, and esteem included agrarian items. U.S. Registration information shows that Portuguese buyers purchased roughly $947 million dollars of U.S. products and enterprises in 2016, a slight increment contrasted and 2015. Amid that same period, U.S. imports of Portuguese products and enterprises were $3.2 billion, like 2015. The best U.S. states sending out to Portugal were Indiana, Texas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Florida and New Jersey. Top U.S. trades included transportation gear, oil and gas items, horticultural items and hardware parts.

The United States is Portugal’s biggest exchanging accomplice outside the European Union. The aggregate sum of U.S. merchandise sold into Portugal is without a doubt higher than the measurements reflect, as evaluation information does not represent U.S. items imported into other EU nations and in this way transported into Portugal available to be purchased. It is basic all through the European Union for products to be dispatched to one EU area – frequently to exploit bring down esteem included duty rates – and afterward to be dispersed by ground transport to neighboring part state markets.

Portugal shipped US$62.2 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017, presenting a 11.7% uptick from 2016 to 2017. Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Portugal’s exported goods plus services represent 42.9% of total Portuguese economic output or Gross Domestic Product.

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Portuguese global shipments during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Portugal. Portugal’s top 10 exports accounted for 56.3% of the overall value of its global shipments. Portugal’s tourism boom has made the industry one of the biggest contributors to the national economy and the largest employer, with almost 1 million direct and indirect jobs. Portugal has long been popular for its beaches, historic sites and golf courses, but tourism has broken records in the past few years after government and businesses looked to the sector as an engine of growth after the 2011-14 debt crisis.

According to Gloria Guevara, the president of the WTTC, Portugal was already in the top five most-visited countries in Europe, and now “they should make sure that they continue as one of the top five”. Portugal has been spared the bloody attacks seen in neighboring European countries and benefited as violence and political unrest deter visitors from parts of the eastern Mediterranean and north Africa. With Portugal starting to muscle into the ranks of Europe’s most popular destinations, tourism industry urged the country to adopt measures to avoid problems of so-called overtourism seen in cities including Barcelona. That includes investment on infrastructure such as potentially a new Lisbon airport. Portugal’s tourism sector was set to grow further, due to a very rich culture, amazing gastronomy, and its geographic position with a long coastline and sunny climate. This is evident from the fact that Portugal won the top destination spot in the 2017 World Travel Awards after the number of foreign tourists jumped 12 percent to 12.7 million. Including domestic tourists, the total is about 21 million.

In 2012, Portugal approved special legislation designed to attract foreign investment, by offering a fast way for property investors (non EU citizens) to receive a residence permit, making it a privileged entry into Europe and allowing such permit holders free circulation in Schengen countries. On September the 2nd, 2015, new amendments were added to the procedures that allow, through investment, obtaining the residence permit known as the Golden Visa. it is possible to apply for this visa through one of the investment options; Capital transfer in the amount equal to or greater than 1.000.000 Euros; Create, at least, 10 new jobs; Property acquisition in the amount equal to or greater than 500.000 Euros; Acquisition of property over 30 years old or property located in urban renewal areas with rehabilitation works totaling the amount equal to or greater than 350.000 Euros; Capital transfer in the amount equal to or exceeding 350 000 Euros to public or private national institutions for scientific research; Capital transfer in the amount equal to or exceeding 250.000 Euros for investment or support for artistic production, recuperation or maintenance of national cultural heritage; Capital transfer in the amount equal to or exceeding 500.000 Euros for the purchase of shares in mutual in investment funds for investment in small and medium enterprises. Portugal is looking to attract foreign entrepreneurs to live and work on the Iberian Peninsula with the launch of the StartUp Visa. StartUP Visa is a residence visa for non-EU-Schenghen startup founders who want to be part of one of the fastest developing startup communities in Europe. The process is managed by trhe Institute to Support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (IAPMEI) and involves the National Network of Incubators spread out throughout the whole territory which ensures that the newly established business will kick off next to a community of entrepreneurs already hacking in the ecosystem and acquainted with all the in’s and out’s of the Portuguese and European markets. Pakistan and Portugal have been making efforts to cement bilateral relations and cooperation in diversified sectors especially, through parliamentary and diplomatic means. Both the countries have also extended warm sentiments by supporting each other’s cause on international forums.

In this regard, leadership of both the countries have been making tremendous efforts to promote economic and trade cooperation. Higher level parliamentary and diplomatic exchanges have proved helpful in bringing people and governments of both the countries closer. Last year, Ambassador of the Portugal, Joao Paulo Marques Sabido Costa held a detailed discussion with Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq to explore more avenues for bilateral cooperation. The speaker said that Pakistan attached immense importance to Portugal and wanted to take the existing warm relations between the two countries to new heights through parliamentary and economic cooperation.

Parliamentarians of both the countries could play an important role in bringing both the nations closer. Pak-Portugal Friendship Group in National Assembly has been revived which has extended parliamentary support in facilitating the Portuguese business community, if required. Joao Paulo Marques Sabido Costa thanked the Speaker for his kind words and said that his country also attached immense importance to Pakistan and wants to revitalize bilateral relations.

Portugal strongly desires to enhance its parliamentary relations apart from cooperation in other fields. He conveyed an invitation to the Pakistani Speaker from the Portuguese Speaker to visit Portugal.

In current year, 2nd round of Pakistan-Portugal Bilateral Consultations was held in February where the two sides discussed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations, including in the spheres of politics, economy, energy, agriculture, culture, education, consular cooperation, parliamentary exchanges and people-to-people contacts. Pakistani side was led by Secretary (Europe) Zaheer A. Janjua, while the Portuguese delegation was headed by Ambassador Pedro Sanchez Da Costa Pereira, Director General for Foreign Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Avenues were explored to boost cooperation in the fields of trade and investment.

The Portuguese side was briefed on Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts and sacrifices, which were deeply appreciated. Views were also exchanged on regional and global issues of mutual interest, including peace and security in the respective regions. The two sides expressed satisfaction at their ongoing cooperation at the UN and other multilateral fora and agreed to continue to support each other’s candidatures. The Portuguese delegation also called on Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua. The Foreign Secretary noted with satisfaction the close and friendly relations between the two countries, which had strengthened over the years. Highlighting the achievements of the government, the Foreign Secretary briefed on the improved security situation, economic revival and increased investments in the country.

The Portuguese side appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for promoting peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, relations with Iran, China and India, and human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. To institutionalize the consultations framework, an MoU on Bil a t e r a l Consultations between the Foreign Ministries of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Portuguese Republic was signed during the meeting.

Pakistan and Portugal enjoy cordial relations and closely cooperate bilaterally, at the multilateral fora as well within the EU framework. Bilateral Consultations provide a useful platform to review progress in various fields and identify opportunities for future cooperation. The two sides agreed to hold the third round of Bilateral Consultations in Lisbon at mutually convenient dates in 2019. The cordiality and mutual goodwill continues and the relations are growing from strength to strength.

In 2018, Madam Amna Malik Regional President Pakistan Portugal Business Forum along with Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair met with Portuguese Ambassador Dr. Joao Paulo Marques Sabido Costa. While talking to the Portuguese Ambassador at the Governor House, Muhammad Zubair said that, ties between Pakistan and Portugal are beneficial for the region. The Governor, however, stressed that there is need to enhance the volume of bilateral trade to help spur economic and commercial activities. He also spoke of investment opportunities in the province, including energy especially wind power, agriculture, technology, infrastructure and textiles. He also said that enhancement of bilateral trade is in the interest of both the countries as well as the peoples. He further stressed that Portuguese investors can benefit from the conductive investment environment in the country. The envoy informed the Governor that Pakistan can take benefit from the Portuguese experience for the promotion of tourism. He was of the view that because of GPS Plus status accorded to Pakistan by the European Union, the access of Pakistani textile products to the European markets would be easier. The envoy also pointed out that Portugal meets 62 percent of its requirement from the wind energy and is ready to assist Pakistan in this very field. Pakistan- Portugal Business Forum is a platform and a gateway for the Pakistani businessmen to Europe. The Pakistan- Portugal Business Forum was formed in 2016 in Lisbon under the former President of federation of commerce Abdul Rauf Alam in Lisbon-Portugal. The forum organized a number of business delegations from Pakistan to Portugal and Portugal to Pakistan. A high-level business delegation 2016-2017, visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and industry and signed MoU with the leading groups of trade and Investment. FPCCI and ICCI sent delegation to a Lisbon-Portugal and signed MoU with their counter parts and established their branch and trade offices and Industry in Lisbon.

AICEP is a government business entity, created in 2007, focused on encouraging the best foreign companies to invest in Portugal. This is done through agreements that are accepted as bilateral instruments containing binding measures aimed at creating more favorable conditions for investments by investors of one signatory state in the territory of another, ensuring more favorable treatment of investors and a guarantee of complete security and protection of investments already made. Abdul Rauf Alam and Amna Malik along with Mr. Naseem-ur-Rehman visited Lisbon Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the AICEP head office and parliamentary friendship group for promoting commerce and trade between two countries. Mr. Andery Mandra, regional President Portugal organized meetings for Amna Malik with Parliamentarians including the adviser to the gender ministry to promote youth, women and media exchange programs between the two countries. Mélange Design, a Pakistan based company signed Memorandum of understandings (MoU’s) with LUX design Europe. Mélange Business consultancy with the support of COPAIR launched a sideline event during the web-summit in Lisbon. E-Women another project of Pakistan signed an MoU with another local brand to promote EWomen design fashion products and accessories in European market via Portugal. E-Women fashion product shoot was also conducted in Lisbon with the collaboration of Portuguese models at the best sites of Lisbon. In February last year, President of COPAIR Amna Malik visited Lisbon along with the Pakistan and Portugal ambassadors for promoting trade and development as well as investment between the two countries. She also spoke to the parliament there and also had a separate meeting with the ruling party. She was accompanied by President FPCCI, women parliamentarians and President PPPFG. She also extended invitation to president chamber of commerce and industry of Portugal to visit Pakistan. During the visit COPAIR signed an MoU with Fashion House Lisbon. In response to her invitation parliamentarians of Portugal as well as individuals from chamber of commerce and industry visited Pakistan and attended the annual investment conference.

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