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Strengthening Bridges: Portugal and the Philippines Forge Stronger Diplomatic Ties

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In a significant display of diplomatic solidarity, Portugal’s Foreign Minister João Gomes Cravinho made an historic official visit to the Philippines on July 28, 2023. This visit, the highest-ranking by a Portuguese official to the Philippines since 1946, marks a crucial turning point between the two nations, underscoring the renewed interest and commitment to furthering bilateral cooperation.

“It is clear to me that the relations between Portugal and the Philippines have considerable potential, despite the fact that we have known each other for 500 years, that our first contacts came in the context of the dawn of the era of globalization,” said Minister João Gomes Cravinho. “We have not in the last few years in most recent years taken full advantage of all the possibilities that do exist,” he added.

Together with Ambassador of Portugal Maria João Lopes Cardoso, the Foreign Minister acknowledged the significance of the Philippines and the outstanding contributions of the Filipino people on a global scale. This recognition sets the stage for enhanced cooperation and opens doors for more Filipino workers to come to Portugal while encouraging Portuguese companies to invest in the Philippines.

Hosting the visit were the Portuguese Consuls of Manila and Cebu, Ramon Garcia Jr. and Samuel Chiongson. The dinner they hosted was a significant platform for meaningful discussions and showcased the willingness of both nations to strengthen their diplomatic bonds.

“I am excited at having the highest Diplomat from Portugal since 1946 arrive in the Philippines. It is a showcase that the Philippines as a country and its citizens have an important role to play on a Global Stage and that our Economy continues to be of interest to the Portuguese.” expressed Ramon Garcia Jr., Portuguese Honorary Consul of Manila, highlighting the significance of the visit. “We will see more cooperation from Portugal,” he added.

Garcia also mentioned that Portuguese companies hold great interest in the progress happening in the Philippines, particularly in the energy sector. The potential for future investments in Defense, Transportation, Energy, and IT sectors was highlighted, affirming Portugal’s commitment to engaging in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives with the Philippines.

The official visit was met with warm hospitality and enthusiasm from the Philippine side including Philippine Ambassador to Portugal Celia Feria and Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo. Prominent attendees included Secretary of Transportation Jaime Bautista, Secretary of Information & Communications Technology Ivan Uy, and Secretary and CEZA Administrator Katrina Ponce Enrile. Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, the EU Ambassador Luc Veron, and the Head of the European Chamber Paolo Duarte were also among the distinguished guests who engaged in crucial discussions with the Portuguese delegation.

The historic visit of Portugal’s Foreign Minister João Gomes Cravinho to the Philippines paves the way for a stronger and more fruitful partnership between the two nations. As both countries look to the future, the visit serves as a testament to their shared commitment to building bridges, fostering cooperation, and shaping a brighter, more interconnected world.

The Portugal Philippines Partnership holds the promise of a future characterized by economic growth, technological advancements, and unwavering diplomatic ties. As both nations embark on this journey together, the potential for mutual success and progress becomes boundless.


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