About Us India-Portugal Relations

Historical Connections

  • Relations between India and Portugal date back to over 500 years when the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama led a sea-faring expedition to Calicut (Kozhikode) in Kerala in May 1498, making him the first to discover a direct sea route between Europe and South Asia, across the Atlantic Ocean and the African continent. This enabled Portugal to directly access the highly profitable Indian spice market and emerge as a dominant colonial trading power.

  • The Portuguese colonial era in India began in 1502 AD when the Portuguese established their first European trading centre at Kollam (formerly Quilon) in Kerala. They later acquired several other enclaves on the western coast including Diu, Daman, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Goa in 1510. Goa subsequently became the capital of the Portuguese Empire in the Orient, which stretched from Malacca (Malaysia) in the east to Mozambique in the west.

  • Relations between India and Portugal began amicably in 1947 after India’s independence and diplomatic relations were established in 1949. However, they soon went into decline in 1950 after Portugal's dictator Antonio Salazar refused to surrender the Portuguese exclaves. The situation escalated further after 1954 with the occupation of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, an economic blockade by India on Portuguese India and an intense legal and diplomatic battle at the UN and the International Court of Justice. By 1955, the two nations had cut off all diplomatic relations. At the height of these tensions, Lisbon tried to mobilise Goans against India while India supported the anti-colonial movements of Mozambique and Angola in a bid to weaken the empire. Through the 1960s, the anti colonial war in Africa and contrary geo-strategic alliances (Portuguese leanings towards the US led NATO alliance and India’s leaning towards USSR), precipitated a stand-off. It ended conclusively by Indian military action Operation Vijay wherein Indian armed forces liberated Goa on 19 December 1961, ending over 450 years of Portuguese rule in the sub-continent. However, the strained diplomatic relations were only restored following the Portuguese Carnation Revolution in April 1974 which overthrew Salazar’s Estado Novo and replaced dictatorship with democracy. India and Portugal finally signed a treaty recognizing India’s sovereignty over Goa, Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and related matters on 31 December 1974. While relations were cordial, bilateral engagement was sluggish mainly owing to Portugal’s preoccupation with restoring domestic political stability and integrating with the EU and India’s focus on socio-economic challenges. Bilateral relations took off in the 1990s, marking the beginning of an era of mutual interest in forging close ties, with exchanges of Presidential visits in 1990, 1992 and 1998, followed by the visit of Prime Minister Vajpayee to Lisbon in the year 2000 for the first India-EU Summit and visit of the Portuguese Prime Minister Socrates to Delhi for the 8th India-EU Summit during the Portuguese Presidency of the EU. They slackened over the following years and picked up momentum in 2017 with reciprocal Prime Ministerial visits in the first half of 2017 in a span of six months, followed by the visit of the Portuguese Prime Minister to Delhi recently on 19 December 2019.


Political Relations

  • Today India’s relations with Portugal remain warm and friendly, with no irritants. Portugal views India as a vibrant pluralistic democracy, a major world economy, and an ancient civilisation with which it has close historical and cultural ties. Portugal has advocated for India in multilateral fora by consistently supporting India’s permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the Nuclear Suppliers Group and Indian candidatures to various bodies. The idea of starting a India-EU Summit was mooted for the firs time by Portugal when the current UNSG Antonio Guterres was the Portuguese Prime Minister and the first India-EU Summit was subsequently held in Lisbon under the Portuguese Presidency of the European Union in 2000 which was attended by Prime Minister Vajpayee and 4 Cabinet Ministers. Portugal became the first EU country to extradite a person to India even in the absence of a bilateral extradition treaty when it extradited Abu Salem and Monica Bedi to India in 2005 for the 1993 Mumbai Blast trial (an extradition treaty was signed later, in 2007. In 2015, Portugal became the first European and western country, and only the fourth one outside the East Asia Summit, to sign a MoU on the Nalanda University in India.

High Level Visits

From India to Portugal:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi (June 24, 2017)

  • Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for the First India-EU Summit in Lisbon under the Portuguese Presidency of the EU (June 2000)

  • President K. R. Narayanan (1998)

  • President R. Venkataraman (1990)

From Portugal to India:

  • State visit of the President of the Portuguese Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (Feb 13-16,2020)

  • Prime Minister Antonio Costa’s visit to New Delhi to attend the meeting of the Organizing Committee to discuss global commemorations of Bapu@150 and hold bilateral talks with PM Narendra Modi (December 19, 2019)

  • State visit of Prime Minister António Costa (January 6-12, 2017)

  • Prime Minister José Sócrates visit to attend the 8th India-EU Summit during the 3rd Portuguese Presidency of the EU (December 2007)

  • President Aníbal Cavaco Silva (January 2007)

  • Visit of President Mário Soares as Chief Guest at the Republic Day Celebrations (January 1992)

  • Prime Minister Mário Soares to attend the funeral of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi (October 1984)

Present Scenario

  • Mr António Costa’s assumption of office as Prime Minister of Portugal in November 2015 gave a boost to India-Portugal relations. PM Costa is the first Indian-origin Head of Government in the Western world. He holds an OCI card, takes pride publicly in his Indian roots and is keen to deepen India-Portugal engagement. His father Orlando da Costa grew up in Goa until the age of 17, and had close emotional ties with India.

  • PM Costa visited India from 7-12 January 2017 with a Ministerial and business delegation and covered four elements: (i) bilateral visit to New Delhi (ii) Chief Guest at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Bengaluru (where he was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award) (iii) Vibrant Gujarat Summit in Gandhinagar, and (iv) a visit to Goa (where he also visited his ancestral home).

  • During the visit, 8 MoUs were signed in Defence, Agriculture, Marine Research, IT & Electronics, Startups, Renewable Energy, establishment of an ICCR Chair at the University of Lisbon etc. A Joint Statement was issued, encouraging companies to collaborate commercially in third countries. A Joint Stamp depicting dances of both countries was released to commemorate 500 years of diplomatic relations. The Portuguese novel Signo da Ira, set in Goa and authored by PM Costa’s father, was translated into English and released during the visit.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Portugal on June 24, 2017. During this first-ever standalone bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Portugal, 11 MoUs were signed in areas like Space, avoidance of double taxation, Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Public Administration and Governance Reforms, Culture, Youth & Sports, Higher Education (IITs). Both countries also announced the setting up of a new joint fund of 4 Million Euros for joint research in Science & Technology, with a contribution of 2 Million Euros each.

  • PM Costa’s Socialist Party was re-elected with a stronger mandate (22 additional seats) in the Parliamentary elections held on October 6, 2019 and PM Costa was sworn in for a second term. As the only foreign Head of Government to be a member of the Organizing Committee set up by our PM to oversee the 2-year global commemorations of Bapu@150 he visited Delhi on 19th December 2019 to attend the 2nd Meeting of the International Gandhi Commemoration Committee. PM Costa also held a positive and forward looking meeting with our PM, which was followed by a lunch hosted by our PM. The two leaders reviewed bilateral relations and discussed new avenues of furture co-operation, especially in the context of the upcoming State Visit of the Portuguese President to India on 14 February 2020. PM Costa proposed holding the first full-fledged India-EU Summit during the Portuguese Presidency of the EU in the first half of 2021 which was accepted by our PM. PM Modi gave him the good news that India will be applying for Associate Observer membership of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP). Both leaders agreed to organize an Automotive Summit during the President’s visit to encourage commercial collaboration in this sector.

  • Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa acoompanied by three Ministers, Parliamentarians and businesspeople visited India from February 13-16, 2020. During the State visit, 32 MOUs/ outcomes were signed in various fields. President visited Delhi, Mumbai and Goa.

  • Recent high level political exchanges have imparted a robust momentum to bilateral relations, including in several new areas such as science and technology, defence, startups, shipping, academia, youth exchanges and culture. Structured engagements like the Foreign Office Consultations (4th round held in Lisbon in December 2016) and Joint Economic Committee meetings (4th session held in Lisbon in May 2017) have helped review and deepen our co-operation.

UN Security Council and Cooperation in Multilateral Fora

  • India and Portugal have actively supported each other for various candidatures at the United Nations and other multilateral forums, including for UNSC non-permanent seats (India in 2021-22 and Portugal for 2027-28). Mr António Guterres, former Prime Minister of Portugal, assumed office as United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) on January 1, 2017. He visited India in July 2016 to lobby for his candidature and called on EAM. He visited India again in October 2018 for the Mahatma Gandhi Global Sanitation Convention and called on Rashtrapatiji and PM.

  • In the last two years, Portugal has consistently supported Indian candidatures in various fora: Judge Dalveer Bhandari’s re-election in the International Court of Justice against UK, a fellow EU country (and Portugal’s oldest ally); India’s bid for UNESCO’s Executive Board membership; designation of Ahmedabad as a UNESCO heritage city; India’s candidature to the Council of the International Telecommunication Union in October 2018 and more recently, for India’s re-election to the Council of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for the term 2019-22 as well as India’s re-election to the IMO Assembly on 29th November 2019 in London.

  • Portugal supported India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in June 2016. Portugal is also a member of the Wassenaar Arrangement (that India joined in 2017) and the Australia Group (which India joined in 2018). Portugal has also been supportive of India’s accession to the NSG which was categorically re-affirmed in the official delegation-level talks during PM Costa’s visit in January 2017.

  • During the recent visit of PM Costa to India, our PM conveyed India’s interest in joining the Communidade dos Paises de Lingua Portuguesa (CPLP) as an Associate Observer which was welcomed by PM Costa. Both leaders expressed hope for India’s official entry to be announced during the 13th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the CPLP in Luanda in 2020. A formal letter was written by Minister of State for External Affairs to the Executive Secretary of the CPLP in this regard. After their approval, the CPLP secretariat will invite India’s formal application and proposed action plans for cooperation and promotion of the Portuguese language. After scrutiny of these documents, India’s candidature will need to be approved at the Council of Ministers' Meeting which is held a day before the CPLP Summit meeting of the Heads of States and then formally endorsed by the Summit meeting. The CPLP Summit is expected to be held in Luanda (Angola) on 2-3 September 2020. Since India will only become an Associate Observer after the approval of the Heads of States Meeting, India would be represented in the meeting by Indian Ambassador. EAM and PM will be invited to participate in the next CPLP Summit meeting in 2022.

  • Portugal will be holding the EU Presidency from January to June 2021. During this period, Portugal proposes to organize the first, full-fledged India-EU Summit (27+1) either in February or May 2021.

Trade and Investment

  • In 2018-19, bilateral trade amounted to US $ 876.09 million. Indian exports stood at USD 743.27 mn and Portuguese exports at USD 132.83 mn. The trade balance has consistently been in India’s favour.

Year

(April-March)

2014-2015

2015-2016

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

EXPORTS

636.43

589.64

671.17

747.32

743.27

IMPORTS

145.05

102.55

141.16

190.15

132.83

TOTAL TRADE

781.48

692.19

812.34

937.47

876.09

% GROWTH

 

-11.43

17.36

15.62

-6.55

Bilateral trade figures from 2014-15 to 2018-19 (in USD million: source - DGFT, India)

  • As per data from the Portuguese trade promotion agency AICEP covering the period from January to December 2019 calendar year, Portugal-India bilateral trade in goods grew by 21.06% year-on-year to US$ 1060.83 million. Within this time-frame, India was Portugal's 43rd largest destination of goods (up from 45th place in 2018) and its 16th largest supplier (up from 19th place in 2018). Portuguese exports to India increased by 4.07% year-on-year to US$133.04 million. Boosted by intensified activity in the autumn months, Indian exports to Portugal grew by a remarkable 23.96% year-on-year to US$ 927.84 million. For the first time ever, bilateral trade in goods surpassed USD 1bn in the 2019 calendar year.

  • Major exports from India: Textiles and apparels including ready-made garments; agriculture products; metals; chemicals; plastic and rubber; footwear; machinery and appliances; leather and its articles; vehicles and other transport materials.

  • Major exports from Portugal: Machinery and appliances; metals; minerals; plastic and rubber; chemicals; textiles and apparels; leather; paper and pulp; wood and cork; optical and precision instruments. Portuguese apples and pears are now allowed to be imported into India as a result of discussions in the last Joint Economic Commission in May 2017.

Investments:

  • Portugal ranks 50th in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into India with total cumulative FDI equity inflows between 2000-2019 amounting to approx. US$ 100 million (DPIIT data, December 2019). Portuguese investments in India doubled from approx US$ 49 million in 2017 to approx. US$ 100 million in December 2019. Major Portuguese investments in India are: US$ 20 mn worth Birla-Visabeira Joint Venture (JV with M.P Birla Group for a Optical Fibre plant in Goa, a 5000 km optical fiber network in Odissa and West Bengal); Portuguese tech company Vision Box’s approx. US$ 8 mn contract with International airports in Bengaluru and New Delhi for installing facial recognition biometric systems for paperless DIGIYATRA travel; Inspira Martifer Solar’s JV (for 350 kW rooftop solar project in Mahabaleshwar); USD 4 mn worth Portind Shoe Pvt Ltd (an ancillary of the Portuguese shoe manufacturing company Soprefa); Martifer (metals); Efacec (Industrial Machinery, Equipment & Tools); and Petrotec Group (retail petroleum and oil distribution industry).

  • While precise figures are not available, Indian investments in Portugal are in the range of USD 350 million and include: MGM Hotel Group (over €50 mn invested in 3 hotels in the Algarve region and 1 in Madeira); Saptashva Solar (a subsidiary of XL Telecom & Energy); TCS Iberoamerica (IT and software services); Sakthi Auto, (€36 mn auto component plant in Águeda by a subsidiary of Sakthi Sugars, Chennai); Tata Elxsi’s US$ 2mn contract with NOS (in telecom); WIPRO IT support office in Porto; Zomato’s investment of €11 mn; €50 mn investment by INDORAMA in a petrochemical plant (group owned by Indian national); and Aurobindo Pharma’s recent US$ 150 mn acquisition of the Portuguese pharma company Generis.

  • More than 70 Indians have made investments under the Portuguese Golden Visa Scheme launched in 2012 to attract foreign investments into Portugal.

  • Potential areas where Portuguese expertise could be leveraged for India: Infrastructure & Construction, Renewable Energy (especially solar and wind power), Footwear, Textiles, Tourism & Hospitality, Defence & Aerospace, IT & Electronics, Water & Waste management, Startups, Agriculture & Food Processing.

  • Two business platforms have been launched – (i) the Portugal-India Business Hub (PIBHub), a diaspora hub for expanding Indian business ties with Lusophone countries, (ii) the India-Portugal Joint Business Council between FICCI and CCIP, to enhance India-Portugal bilateral trade and investment. An automotive Summit was held in Delhi on the occasion of the President’s visit to India on February 13, 2020.

  • Market access for Agriculture Products: Portuguese Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Teresa Ribeiro visited India in November 2016 to hold preparatory meetings prior to PM Costa’s visit. In her meeting with our Agriculture Minister, she raised the issue of market access to Portuguese meat, apples and pears; our Minister, requested market access to Indian litchis, in turn. During the FOC’s in December 2016, the Portuguese side conveyed that Portugal welcomed Indian litchi exports from India and clarified that there were no national/EU restrictions on litchi imports from India. During the JEC meeting on May 30, 2017, the Portuguese side expressed keen interest in exporting apples, pears, pork, and poultry/meat products to India and sought clarifications about Indian health certification requirements. Portuguese apples and pears are now allowed to be imported into India. The issue of Health Certification with regard to import of pork and meat products can be discussed in next session of the JEC.

  • The Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has proposed two sets of dates for holding the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) meeting on Economic matters in New Delhi, either on 9 October or 16 October 2020. The Indian Dept. of Commerce is yet to response on this.

  • Under the MoU signed between Invest India and Startup Portugal for startup partnerships during PM Costa’s visit to India in January 2017, the India Portugal International Startup Hub (IPISH) was launched on June 24 during PM Modi’s visit to Portugal. Discussion is underway to bring women entrepreneurs from WE-HUB in Telangana to PARKURBIS Covilha for an incubation programme. Two Portuguese startups ENGING and SPACELAYER from IPN Coimbra have made a soft landing in the Indian market with the help of the Indian accelerator Global Business Inroad (GBI) in Bengaluru, in early 2019. Invest India and the Porto Design Factory (Startup Porto) signed an MOU in April 2019 to collaborate in exchange of startups to explore each other’s market through an incubation/acceleration programme. A hackathon is also proposed to be held between India and Portugal on October 21-22 this year, as per discussions between PM Costa and PM Modi in New Delhi on 19th December 2019.

  • The Embassy organised two series of India Business Seminars in 2017 - in March 2017 in Lisbon and Porto, with Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh as focus states, and in November 2017 in Portimão, Lisbon and Porto with Madhya Pradesh as Focus State. India Tourism Roadshows were also organized in Lisbon and Porto with Kerala as Focus State in March 2018 in association with the Portuguese Tour and Travel Operators Association. A gala event was held on October 26, 2018 to promote Indian whiskies and liquors in the Portuguese market.

  • This year, the Embassy organised several business outreach activities including Tourism Roadshows (October 2019) , India Business Opportunities Seminars in Porto and Braga (March 2019), B2B meetings of the Textile Promotion Council (TEXPROCIL) delegation in Porto (May 2019) and factory visits to promote apparel/fabrics/yarn export, and visit of a FICCI defence delegation led by JS (DIP), MOD (July 2019) to explore defence trade opportunities.

  • The City of Gandhidham (Gujarat) and the City of Barreiro (Portugal) signed a town-twinning (sister-city) agreement in August 2019 to collaborate in economic, trade and cultural matters. MOU for town-twinning agreements between the City of Kozhikode (Kerala) and the City of Sines (Portugal were already finalised. The City of Bengaluru and the City of Braga have signed Sister City agreement in February 2020.

  • From 27-31 January 2020, Turismo de Portugal organised Tourism Roadshows in Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad to promote Portugal as a niche tourist destination in India. Approximately a dozen Portuguese companies from the hospitality and travel sector are participating. Tourismo de Portugal also opened its India office in New Delhi.

  • A large business delegation led by Secretary of State for Internationalisation Dr Eurico Brilhante Dias visited India asa part of the Portuguese President’s visit to India from Feb 13-15, 2020.

  • Recently, Portugal has become a niche film shooting destination for Indian film makers. More than a dozen films from Bollywood and South India in Tamil, Telegu, Kannada and Malayalam have been shot in Portugal since 2013. During PM Costa’s visit to Goa in January 2017, an event was organised with Indian film industry persons. Following this meeting, on India’s suggestion, Portugal introduced a subsidy scheme of tax rebates for shooting of foreign films in Portugal. The first foreign film to benefit from this scheme was the recent Bollywood blockbuster ‘War’ which is also the first foreign movie to have availed the maximum possible tax rebate under this subsidy system, with a total spending of Euro 4 million in Portugal in just 11 days of shooting.


Defence Cooperation

  • There are over 370 Portuguese defence companies under the Portuguese defence industry organisation idD with niche technologies in sectors like AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles), ammunition destruction through gas, ship building, naval communication systems/equipment, navigational systems, robotics and automation, aeronautics, military clothing, etc. Although a NATO member, Portugal is open-minded on tech-transfer and keen to partner India’s ‘Strategic Partnership Initiative’ and ‘Make in India’. A Portuguese defence delegation anchored by IdD participated in the DEFEXPO in Lucknow in February 2020.

  • Since 2015, 28 IAF aircrafts and 3 Indian Navy ships have transited smoothly through Portugal (18 Indian aircrafts and INS Tarangini in 2015 and in 2017 and 11 aircrafts and 1 ship (INS Tarkash) in 2018). Most of the aircrafts stop enroute to the US for exercises and R&M . The Portuguese military has been extremely helpful in facilitating these transits.

  • Government of India currently has 8 Embraer aircrafts (3 with DRDO with AWACS systems, 4 with IAF and 1 with BSF). Out of these, except for the DRDO aircrafts which are serviced in India itself, the remaining 5 aircrafts used to come to OGMA in Portugal for R&M. Given the high costs and time delays involved in flying them out to Portugal, we have successfully persuaded OGMA and Embraer to authorize an Indian company Airworks Pvt. Ltd. (Bengaluru) to undertake R&M of all these aircrafts in India from July 2019 onwards. Air Marshal Kuldeep Sharma visited Lisbon from Sep 2-7, 2018 to review R&M works for the IAF Embraer aircrafts.

  • Bilateral meetings between the two Navies were held when Indian naval ship INS Tarangini paid two port calls (in September 2015 and June 2018), and INS Tarkash paid a goodwill visit (May 2017). Admiral Luis Fragoso, Portuguese Chief of Naval Staff participated in the International Fleet Review in Vizag in February 2016 with an official delegation.

  • A 16-member delegation of Portuguese defence companies participated in DEFEXPO-2018 in April 2018. They met Defence Secretary and other Defence Ministry officials, Indian Defence PSUs and held B2B meetings organised by FICCI. As follow up, FICCI signed a MOU with idD at the Farnburrogh airshow in UK in July 2018 to collaborate in exchange of defence trade missions.

  • India and Portugal signed the first-ever MoU in defence cooperation during Portuguese PM Costa’s visit to India in January 2017. The Portuguese Defence Minister and 8 defence companies accompanied PM Costa in January 2017 and held meetings with Indian defence companies. Portuguese Defence Minister José Alberto Azeredo Lopes held bilateral meeting with Raksha Mantri Manohar Parrikar and formally invited RM Parikkar to visit Portugal in June 2017.

  • Estaleiros Navais De Peniche (ENP), a leading Portuguese ship-building company and Goa Shipyard Ltd. (GSL) have signed a MOU on February 16 in Goa to collaborate in ship building as well as exploring business opportunities in third countries, especially in the African market.

  • As a follow-up to FICCI’s defence trade mission to Portugal in July 2019, an MOU between Veda Defence (Delhi based) and the Portuguese technology company UAVision was singed in February 2020 to manufacture drones for the IAF and exporting to other countries. A MoU between CeiiA (a Portuguese engineering and aviation technology company) and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) was also signed for collaboration in training, exchange of visits and cooperation in aviation systems. It may be mentioned that CeiiA was one of the companies in developing the military transport aircraft KC390 (now C390 Millennium) by Embraer. PM Costa broached the possibility of India procuring Embraer KC 390 aircrafts and PM Modi proposed a ‘win win’ Make in India collaboration.

  • A MoU between the Portuguese Ministry of Sea and the Indian Ministry of Shipping on Maritime Transport and Port Development is also under discussion. An agreement for exchange and mutual protection of classified information between India and Portugal is also under consideration.

  • The first Joint Working Group meeting on Defence was held in New Delhi on the sidelines of the State visit of the Portuguese President on 13 February 2020. To exchange policy views on strategic issues, an MOU between IDSA and the Institute of Social And Political Sciences of the University of Lisbon was also signed.

Science and Technology Cooperation

  • An Agreement for Cooperation in Science and Technology was signed in December 1998, establishing the Indo-Portuguese Joint Science & Technology Committee (JSTC). Every two years, the JSTC calls for research proposals and selects about 15 joint research projects in areas of mutual interest like Ocean Science, Biotechnology, Materials Science, IT, Nanotechnology, Chemical Sciences, and Engineering Sciences.

  • The 5th Joint Science and Technology Committee meeting was held in Lisbon (March 2017) and concluded a Programme of Cooperation including joint funding of 15 selected projects. As an outcome of this meeting, 3 joint workshops were also held: in Marine Science (in July 2017 where ISRO, NIO and INCOIS from India participated), in Nanotechnology (October 2018 at the Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory in Braga where a 7-member scientific delegation from JNCASR and IISc Bangaluru participated) and in Tissue Engineering (February, 2018 between the University of Minho and IIT, Kharagpur) The next meeting of the Joint S&T Committee will be held in 2020 in India.

  • India was the first country to be invited by Portugal as ‘Guest Country’ at Portugal’s national science festival Ciência 2017 in July 2017.

  • Minister of State for Science, Technology and Earth Sciences Shri Y. S Chowdary, accompanied by a high-level delegation, visited Portugal from April 19-23, 2017 to participate in the Atlantic International Research (AIR) meeting in the Azores islands in Portugal. The high-level Indian delegation included the CMD of Antrix, the Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), the Director of the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) in Goa, and senior officials from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Earth Sciences. Minister Chowdhary held bilateral meetings with the Portuguese Minister of S&T & Higher Education, Dr Manuel Heitor and key Portuguese defence companies. Portugal invited India to partner in setting up a satellite launch facility on the Azores islands but ISRO did not pursue the matter owing to the quantum of required investment.

  • Minister of Science and Technology, Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan visited Portugal on September 7-8, 2017 to participate in the Oceans Meeting 2017. He called on Prime Minister António Costa and discussed bilateral cooperation with Dr. Manuel Heitor, Minister of S&T and Higher Education.

  • A 2-member delegation from M/s Tekever visited India in February 2018 and met ANTRIX (ISRO), INCOIS, and Ananth Technology in Chennai to explore satellite collaboration opportunities.

  • On the sidelines of the International Astronautical Congress in Germany in October 2018, ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan met the Portuguese Minister of S&T & Higher Education Dr Manuel Heitor.

  • A MoU for launching a €4 million joint fund for S&T research collaboration was signed on 1st March 2019 between Dept. of S&T and its Portuguese counterpart FCT. The Fund was announced during PM Modi’s visit in June 2017. Both sides have drawn up the calendar for the Joint Call for proposals. They have agreed to invite proposals on 7 February 2020; the last date for receiving proposals will be 15 June 2020. The proposals will be evaluated between 1 July 2020 – 31 August 2020 and jointly-selected projects will be announced at the next JSTC in September 2020 in New Delhi.

  • Two Portuguese scientists participated in ISRO’s UNispace Nanosatellite Assembly & Training (UNNATI) capacity building programme from 15 Jan- 15 March 2019.

  • Meanwhile, the Department of Science and Technology India has invited Portugal as Partner Country for the India-Portugal Technology Summit 2020 to be held in October 2020. India has organised such summits in the past, with Italy as Partner Country in 2018 and Netherlands in 2019. FCT Portugal has accepted this proposal.

Joint Development Co-operation

  • JWGs: Under the framework of the MoUs signed during PM Costa’s visit to India, 4 inaugural Joint Working Group (JWG) meetings have been held in the areas of Renewable Energy (Feb 2018), Agriculture & Allied sectors (Jan 2018), IT and Electronics (Jan 2018), and Administrative Modernization (May 2018). As a follow-up to the JWG on Administrative Modernization which was led by Secretary DARPG, the possibility of organizing a training module for Indian officials in e-governance, citizen friendly digital service platforms(SIMPLEX), capacity building etc. in Portugal is being explored.

  • Water: A high-level delegation led by Chief Secretary of Goa visited Portugal in February 2018 and discussed a pilot project for technical collaboration in water and waste management. A team from Aguas de Portugal (ADP), the Portuguese Water Authority, visited Goa in June 2018 and held discussions with PWD Goa and authorities of Imagine Panaji Smart City. A 5-member delegation led by Minister of Environment Dr Joao Pedro Matos Fernandes visited Goa on September 28-29, 2018 and signed a MOU between PWD Goa and ADP for collaboration in water management. A 4-member delegation led by Mr Sudin Dhawalikar, Minister of PWD, Govt. of Goa visited Portugal from December 1-4, 2018 to finalise the technical details of the project. A work contract for the pilot phase of the water projects has been finalised between AdP Portugal and PWD Goa. The Work Contract was signed during the visit of the Portuguese President to Goa on 15 February 2020 in Goa.

  • On December 7, 2018, the Indian PSU WAPCOS signed an MoU with Águas de Portugal (AdP) for collaboration in the water sector, following the visit of a high-level ADP delegation to India to participate in the Water Week (October 10-14, 2017) organised by the Ministry of Water Resources. Under the MoU, WAPCOS and ADP submitted joint bids for water projects in Tanzania, Uganda, Lesotho, Bangladesh and Democratic Republic of Congo. They have also submitted joint bids for ADB funded projects in West Bengal and under the Imagine Panaji Smart City project.

Cultural Cooperation

  • A MOU on Cultural cooperation was signed on June 24, 2017 during PM Modi’s visit to Portugal. A large number of cultural performances, youth and literary exchanges, seminars, art exhibitions etc. have been held across Portugal, tapping into our historic ties and the Portuguese peoples’ keen interest in Indian culture and spirituality. Under this umbrella MOU, the two countries signed a MOU between the Portuguese Ministry of Defence and our Ministry of Shipping for collaboration in setting up India’s first Maritime Museum in Lothal, Gujarat. The two sides will cooperate in curating a maritime discovery-related history section in the museum with help from Portuguese curators and support from Portuguese Maritime Museum for exchange of artifacts, replicas, etc.

  • During the visit of a delegation led by Director-General of the National Archives of India, a Protocol on Cooperation in the Field of Archives was signed in Lisbon on May 17, 2017 with the Portuguese Directorate-General for Books, Archives and Libraries. On this occasion, the Portuguese side returned to the Government of India, copies of 1,200 documents of the ‘Monsoon series’ correspondence between the Portuguese overseas empire headquarters in Goa and authorities in Lisbon, which had been missing from the archives in Goa.

  • On Independence Day (15 August 2018), a public ‘Festival of India’ was organized for the first time in the Vasco de Gama gardens in Belém and was a massive success with over 7,000 visitors in a single day. For the first time, locals and foreign tourists experienced India through an Indian auto rickshaw Photo Booth; stalls selling diverse Indian Cuisine, clothes, jewelry, spices; various genres of Indian dances and Music; Ayurvedic massage, Workshops on Yoga, Bollywood, Rangoli, Indian calligraphy and saree-draping, Henna and Indian beauty treatments; an India Quiz; Khadi and Village Industries Corporation (KVIC) stall showcasing Khadi and organic Indian products; and an India Tourism stall with free tourism promotion kits etc.

  • The Mission, in association with the India-Portugal Friendship Association (AAPI), also organised a series of cultural events/celebrations of Indian festivals in Portugal, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture. A Bollywood Night was organized on 20 January 2018 at Lisbon University; musical performances by the Southern Street band were held in Porto and Lisbon on 3 and 5 March 2018; Indian Classical dance performances were showcased at the elite Eleh Shoe event in Lisbon on 21 March 2018; the 2nd edition of the ICCR-sponsored ‘Jiya’ dance festival was organised at the Orient Auditorium on 9-11 November 2018 portraying Odissi, Bharatnatyam, Mohiniattam, Kuchipudi & Kathak dances.

  • An exhibition of Bireswar Sen’s miniature paintings was organized at the Oriente Museum from Jan-March 2019 with the support of the National Gallery of Modern Art and ICCR. A Holi Festival was organised in April 2019; Rajasthani Folk artists performed in Lisbon in July 2019; an Indian Film Festival with Portuguese subtitles was held at the Orient Museum in August 2019; and an Indian writers’ delegation led by the Sahitya Akademi participated in the FOLIO Literary Festival in Óbidos in October 2019. A return visit by a Portuguese literary delegation is scheduled in February 2021.

  • Bapu@150: The two-year celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi was launched on 2 October 2018 in the presence of the Mayor of Lisbon through an LED projection of Gandhiji’s messages at Lisbon’s historic Praça do Comércio square and launch of a Conference and Satya Vaarta series on Gandhiji at the India Studies Centre in the University of Lisbon where Mr. Pedro Delgado Alves, Member of the Portuguese Parliament and Leonídio Ferreira, a Portuguese journalist from a leading newspaper ‘Diario de Noticias’, spoke on “How Gandhi changed my life”. It also included release of a commemorative Gandhi stamp issued on Khadi by the Portuguese Department of Post. The well-known Portuguese flute player Rão Kyao rendered ‘Vaishnava Jana To’ bhajan for the global medley brought out by XP Division. PM António Costa authored an article for the Anthology on Mahatma Gandhi being brought out by the Ministry on 2 October 2019. The Embassy installed a bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Funchal on Madeira island on 5 Sept 2019 and a Road in Covilha city was named Rua Mahatma Gandhi on 2 October 2019. A special Gandhi stamp in Khadi was released by the Portuguese Minister of Planning Mr Nelson D’Souza on 2nd October, making Portugal the first foreign country in the world to bring out commemorative Gandhi stamps in Khadi after procuring khadi from India at a cost of 30,000 euros for the purpose. 50 solar lamps supplied by IIT Bombay were assembled by Portuguese school children on 2 October to commemorate the Gandhi Global Solar Yatra. A special dance homage called ‘Bahusutra’ was performed at the Orient Foundation on 20 October 2019. Talks on Gandhiji were organized in Portuguese schools and Portuguese comic books on Gandhiji’s life were distributed to school children. The Embassy organized a cycle rally in Lisbon to spread Gandhiji’s messages and held a week-long Festival of Gandhi in collaboration with Casa da India as well as an exhibition on Gandhiji at the University of Coimbra with the help of the Hindu Community.

  • Yoga and Ayurveda:The Portuguese have immense interest in ancient Indian systems of health like Yoga and Ayurveda. It has resulted in Yoga being practiced by over 10,000 students in 162 schools, participation of more than 2000 Portuguese people in the annual International Day of Yoga celebrations and establishment of nearly 100 yoga training centres across Portugal. On 21st June, the Embassy organizes a large-scale event at the iconic Belem Tower, in collaboration with the Portuguese Yoga Confederation as well as mass yoga events in stadiums in Lisbon, Porto and other cities. From the Embassy, an ICCR-sponsored Teacher of Indian Culture (TIC), has been actively promoting Yoga in Portugal since April 2018 and also conducts Yoga classes for the Portuguese judicial police. The Embassy is working with the Portuguese Ministry of Education to introduce Yoga in the curriculum of public schools, starting with a pilot project to scientifically evaluate the benefits of yoga for school children. The Portuguese Confederation of Yoga will lead this project with assistance from SVYASA Yoga University in Bengaluru. The Embassy is also in the process of obtaining books on Patanjali’s Yogasutra by Portuguese writers for distribution in universities and other institutions for the promotion of Yoga. Two Portuguese students are currently pursuing a 4-year Bachelors degree in Ayurveda at the Gujarat Ayurved University on ICCR Scholarships. The Portuguese Ayurvedic Medical Association (AMAYUR) has professional courses in Ayurveda and also provides ayurvedic treatments and consultations in Portugal through its national network of more than a 100 certified and recognized Ayurvedic Medical professionals, many of whom are conventional doctors of modern medicine. Art of Living also has a successful centre in Portugal. They have posted an Ayurvedic Doctor to the Centre who offers consultation through quarterly visits and offers Marma treatment to patients with acute health symptoms.

Academic and Youth Exchanges

  • The Centre for Indian Studies at the University of Lisbon was inaugurated in April 2016 by Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva. It is the first such centre dedicated to the study of India in Portugal and hosts a Distinguished Lecture series on art, culture, foreign policy, economy and international relations. It also offers Hindi language teaching, with approx. 300 Portuguese students so far enrolled. The Centre regularly hosts Hindi Divas, Conferences and other celebrations; it launched a online Hindi-Portuguese dictionary in 2017 and hosted an ICCR India Chair last year. With the support of ICCR, the Centre for Indian Studies organised the ‘Indian Ocean: Global Connections’ Conference in April 2018 with the participation of distinguished scholars from India. With ICCRs support, the Centre also organized the Regional Hindi Conference in Lisbon in June 2019 in which more than 100 Hindi scholars from all over the world participated. The Embassy has also nominated the name of eminent Portuguese Sanskrit scholar Dr Paulo Meira for the ICCR World Sanskrit Award. World Hindi Day celebrations was held on 18 February,2020 in collaboration with the Centre for Indian Studies in the University of Lisbon and in University of Porto.

  • A MOU between Foreign Service Institute and the Portuguese Diplomatic Institute has signed MOU for training of diplomats. A Summer Course on India was held at the Centre for Indian Studies in Lisbon University in July 2018 during which an Indian Corner in the University library called “Bharat: Ek Parichay - Sharing knowledge with the world” was set up with a collection of 56 books in various Indian languages. Institute of Social Science and Politics (ISCSP), University of Lisbon also plans to organize a Summer School on India with diploma courses in July this year, paving the way for post-graduate courses onIndia in the future. It would also include social activities like Indian calligraphy, sari workshop, film shows and cultural events. Another MoU has been finalized between University of Coimbra and the Kare Law College in Goa for academic, scientific and cultural co-operation.

  • On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel, Rashtriya Ekta Divas was celebrated on 31 October 2018 with a talk and discussion on the contributions of Sardar Patel by AAPI at Lisbon University. Dr Constantino Xavier from Brookings India who was awarded the "Distinguished Alumni Award" by ICCR in January 2019 spoke on 25 March 2019 at Lisbon University on the “Role of Cultural Relations between India, Portugal, and the Portuguese speaking World” .

  • Youth Exchanges: Under the framework of the MoU in the field of Youth Exchange & Sports, a 10-member Indian youth delegation visited Portugal (Jan-Feb 2018) making Portugal the first EU country to have such a Youth Exchange Programme. Reciprocating the visit, a 10-member Portuguese youth delegation visited India (September, 2019). Four Indian diaspora youth from Portugal have so far participated in the ‘Know India’ Programme and 7 in the ‘Know Goa’ Programme sponsored by the Goa Government, to reconnect with their roots. 22 students from the Salgaonkar Hospitality Institute in Goa have also been trained in Portugal under an agreement with Tourismo de Portugal which also sent 24 Portuguese students on exchange visits to V.M. Salgaonkar Institute. V. M. Salgaonkar Insitute is in discussion with Turismo de Portugal for slightly modifying the existing MoU to include the additional clauses presently in the Addendum to the existing MOU, which lays down the of terms and conditions of Training and Placement for students and Faculty exchange to make this exchange more robust. St. Marks Public School in Delhi and the Portuguese Secondary School in Caneças also have a student exchange program where 15 students and teachers visit each other every year. The U-17 Indian National Football tea which was trained by the Portuguese football coach Luís Norton de Matos visited Portugal in April 2017 as part of a Europe tour.

  • Carnegie India, in association with the Orient Foundation, organised the inaugural India-EU Strategy Group conference in the Arrabida Monastery in Portugal in June 2018 which was attended by the Portuguese Foreign Minister, former Indian Ambassadors, EU Member States and EEAS representatives. A second edition of the dialogue was held in September 2019 by Brookings India and saw a larger participation.

  • VIP Outreach: Portuguese Member of Parliament from the ruling Socialist Party Mr. Pedro Delgado Alves attended the Kumbh Mela from 21-24 February 2019, sponsored by ICCR. He is a member of the India-Portugal Parliamentary Friendship Group and represents Lumiar, the constituency housing the largest Indian diaspora in Portugal. Dr. Raquel Vaz Pinto, a renowned academic with Nova University and MEP candidate from the centre-right CDS Party was hosted by ICCR under the Academic Visitors Program from 20-29 November 2019 and visited New Delhi, Bangalore, Amritsar, Agra, Varanasi and Mumbai.

As on June 5,2020