India Portugal Relations: Latest Developments

Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Costa visited India from 7-12, January 2017. Prime Minister Costa was the Chief Guest at the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas 2017 at Bengaluru.

He and Indian PM Narendra Modi held official talks. The two Prime Ministers called for comprehensive deepening of the partnership.

Building on the shared priorities of both countries, they identified the following focus sectors: infrastructure, renewable energy, defence industries, information and communication technologies (ICT) and Start Ups, agriculture, food processing, food security, water and waste management, tourism and hospitality, pharmaceuticals and automotive products.

They decided to exchange sector-specific trade and investment delegations and agreed to convene the 4th session of the Joint Economic Committee meeting on 11-12 April 2017 in Lisbon to chart a roadmap for enhancing trade and investment.

Taking note of the significant work being done in both countries in the important field of marine research, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the initiation of bilateral cooperation in this area through the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera and the Ministry of Earth Sciences in India.

They expressed confidence that this new collaboration and the possible participation of India in the Atlantic International Research Center (AIR Centre) would enhance their understanding of the atmospheric and oceanographic processes of the Indian and Atlantic oceans and help create new knowledge on ocean and space information services to more effectively deal with climate change, ocean disasters and harness marine resources in a sustainable way.

Acknowledging both countries’ strong links to the sea, the two Prime Ministers called for enhancing their cooperation in the fields of Maritime Transport and Ports.

Both leaders welcomed the existing cooperation in the field of higher education and expressed their satisfaction on the re-opening of the Camões Lectureship at the University of Delhi – which dates from 1986 – and the creation of a new Bachelor’s Degree in Portuguese/Lusophone Studies.

They also welcomed the institution of an ICCR Chair for India Studies at the University of Lisbon for a duration of two years, to promote Indian Studies in the areas of history, culture and society, Indian philosophy, Indian ocean and Indian languages.

The two Prime Ministers looked forward to the signing of the Protocol amending the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and to early ratification of the Social Security Agreement by Portugal to enable it to enter into force.

Both leaders agreed that any disputes and other issues of mutual interest will continue to be addressed through the diplomatic channels, namely in the next Political Consultations, in the spirit of the Treaty of 1974, which set out the foundations of friendship and cooperation between both countries.

The Prime Ministers discussed the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) and the possibility of India joining the organisation as an Associate Observer.

Following MoUs were signed during the visit:

1. MoU in the field of Information Technology and Electronics
2. MoU in the Agriculture and Allied Sectors
3. MoU on Renewable Energy
4. MoU on Marine Research and Resources
5. MoU on Defence
6. MoU on the establishment of an ICCR Chair of Indian Studies in University of Lisbon
7. Agreement on visa waiver for holders of diplomatic passports