What Is India News Service
Saturday, May 05, 2007




Name and capital of the country :  Portuguese Republic, Lisbon

Population : 10.56 million (July 2005 estimates)

Currency/Exchange rate as on a recent date : Euro (divided into 100 centimos) EUR 1 = US$ 1.26 (July 2006)
Languages spoken :  Portuguese

Latitude/Longitude and time zone details of country, capital : Time : IST - 4 ˝ hrs (summer) & - 5˝ hrs (winter) Daylight Saving Time: Time is advanced by 1 hour at mid night on the last Saturday of March every year and pushed back by an hour at mid-night of the last Saturday of October.

Name of Head of State :  Prof. Anibal Cavaco Silva, President

Name of Head of Government : Mr. Jose Socrates Carvalho Pinto de Sousa

Name of Foreign Minister : Mr. Luis Amado

Name of Finance Minister : Mr. Teixeira dos Santos

Name of Defence Minister : Dr. Nuno Severiano Teixeira

Name of Economy Minister : Mr. Manuel Pinho

Official Government website with links to HOG/HOS/ Foreign Ministry/Commerce Ministry :

Name, address and contact details of country’s Central Bank

Banco de Portugal, Head Office: R. Do Ouro, 27, 1100-150 Lisbon;
Tel : 00351 21 321 32 00, Fax : 21 346 48 43; website :

Basic foreign, international trade, etc policies : Portugal’s external trade is characterised by chronic trade deficit and about 80% of its trade (imports and exports) is with other memberstates of the European Union. Much of its trade policies are dictated by the European Commission from Brussels.

Membership of major multilateral and regional organisations: Founder-member of NATO and OSCE. Joined EU in its first wave of expansion in 1986 and adopted Euro as its currency w.e.f. 01-01-2002

Major industries, global companies etc.
- Mining and semi-processing
- Portugal is Europe’s leading producer of copper, tin, tungsten and a major producer of zinc

- Manufacturing (There is a growing trend to move away from the traditional sectors of leather and textiles)

- Automotive sector

- Wine and cork products 13 Significant economic activities such as agriculture, mining, knowledge industries, services such as financial services, shipping, tourism etc.

- Agriculture & fishing accounts for less than 4% of GDP
- Portugal is Europe’s leading producer of copper, tin, tungsten and a major producer of zinc
- Portugal has just begun catching up on knowledge based industries
- Has a strong base for ship-building and related services industry
- Tourism – The tourism sector is one of the most important sectors of Portugal’s economy, accounting for about 8% of GDP and roughly 10% of overall employment. Portugal enjoys around 1.5% of the world travel market, but its share of world tourism has been falling since the early 2000’s. Revenue from tourism
was up 13% year on year in the first half of 2004. The increase in tourism receipts seems to be largely the result of the Euro 2004 football championship between June 12th and July 4th, although tourism revenue throughout the country was unevenly spread. The WTO –World Tourism Organisation urges Portugal to tie future Tourism growth to Ocean and Marine Sport and recreation. Cascais is to host the World Sailing Championship in 2007, a qualifier for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Global Trade and Investment, Total imports into that country, with major exporting countries
Total exports from that country, with major destinations of exports Likewise investment highlights

Main Destination of Exports 2005

Main origins of imports 2005

  % of total  

% of total

EU 79.4 EU 76.6
Germany 13.5 Spain 29.3
Spain 24.9 Germany 14.3
France 14.0 France 9.3
UK 9.6 Italy 6.1
Belgium-Luxemburg 4.0 UK 4.6
US 6.1 US 2.4
Japan 0.3 Japan 1.5
PALP* 3.2 OPEC 5.0
EFTA 1.3 EFTA 2.0
OPEC 0.8 PALP* 0.1
Total Exports (in billion € ) 37.1 Total Imports (in billion € ) 55.8

*Portuguese speaking African countries

Major Universities/Scientific Institutions : Universities of Coimbra, Lisbon and Porto/GRICES-Gabinete de
Relacoes Internacionais da Ciencia e do Ensino Superior

Important Think Tanks on Foreign Policy related issues:

i) IEEI-Instituto de Estudos Estrategicos e Internacionais, Largo S. Sebastiao, 8, Poca do Lumiar, 1600-762 Lisbon, Tel : 210 306 700, Fax: 217 593 983, E-mail: ieei@ieei.pt

ii) Instituto Diplomatico, Rua da Necesidades, No.19, 1350-218 Lisbon,
Tel:213 932 040, Fax : 213 932 049, E-mail: idiplomatico@mail.telepac.pt

Major Tourist attractions : Lisbon and its environs, Porto and Algarve

Major art forms/cultural traditions and venues/museums etc. : Portugal’s history has had a lasting impact on the culture of the country with Moorish and Oriental influences in architecture and the
arts. Traditional folk dance and music, particularly the melancholy fado, remain vibrant. There are several important cultural institutions namely the Gulbenkian Foundation, the Centro Cultural de Belem, the Fundcao Oriente and the Culturgets. There are over 20 museums in Lisbon alone and several important historic and cultural sites. Sintra (near Lisbon) is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Major Newspapers/Magazine/TV Channels:

The press:
? Diario de Noticias - daily
? Publico - daily
? Correio da Manha - daily
? Jornal de Noticias - daily
? Expresso - weekly
? The Portugal News - English-language weekly

News agency
? Lusa News Agency
Portugal's commercial TV stations command a lion's share of the viewing audience, and provide
tough competition for the cash-strapped public broadcaster.

Public TV services are operated by RTP, which enjoyed a monopoly on the airwaves until the
launch of commercial channel SIC in 1992.

The future of public broadcasting has generated heated political debate. The second public TV
channel and a public radio network survived closure threats in 2002.

Multichannel TV - via cable and satellite - reaches more than two million homes and offers a wide
range of domestic and foreign channels.

Public radio networks are operated by RDP. The Roman Catholic Church owns the widely-listenedto
Radio Renascenca. There are some 300 local and regional commercial radio stations.


Indo-Portuguese bilateral relations rest on an even keel, remain close and friendly and are free of any irritants. Diplomatic relations between India and Portugal were first established in 1949. Major differences emerged during our negotiations over Goa with the (dictatorial) regime of Salazar (1932-1974). This led to the closure of our Embassy in Lisbon on June 11, 1953. The Portuguese Embassy in Delhi was closed in August 1955. All diplomatic and consular links were finally severed on September 1, 1955.

The Portuguese-held territories of Goa, Daman & Diu were restored to India through military intervention (Operation Vijay) in December 1961. Through the sixties and up to 1974, there continued an increasingly strong movement in Portugal for democracy at home and decolonisation abroad. Finally, the carnation revolution of April 25, 1974 ended the dictatorial regime and ushered in a democratic process.

A treaty re-establishing diplomatic relations was signed in New Delhi on December 31, 1974. The Embassies of the two countries were re-opened – the Indian Embassy in Lisbon in June, 1975, and the Portuguese Embassy in New Delhi in July 1975. Portugal opened a Consulate General in Panajim in April 1994. We also have a Honorary Consul in Oporto since 1994.

Political Relations:

With the end of dictatorship, a democratic system of governance was initiated in Portugal. The democratic government, however, remained vulnerable and unstable till 1985 when the Social Democratic Party (PSD) gained an absolute majority in the elections, introducing an era of stability until 1995. There was a period of relative instability from 2002 to 2005 under PSD-led coalition Governments. In the last recent general elections held in February 2005, the Socialist Party (PS) has been elected with a clear majority and Jose Socrates sworn in as Prime Minister in March 2005. Jorge Sampaio (of the Socialist Party) was re-elected for a second term in January 2001. In the latest Presidential elections of January, 2006 Cavaco Silva (PSD) was elected President. Portugal is a founder member of the NATO and a member of the EU since 1986. It was one of the first countries to join the Euro in its first wave in January 1999. The switch over was swift
and complete on 28.2.2002. Portugal held the Presidency of the EU in the year 2000 and will hold it again in the second half of 2007.

Important Bilateral Treaties and Agreements:

During the prolonged period (1975-1987) of relative political and economic instability in Portugal immediately after the revolution, the Indo-Portuguese bilateral interactions remained at a low ebb. Nevertheless, a bilateral Agreement on Trade, Economic, Industrial and Technical Cooperation was signed in 1977. A Joint Committee established under this Agreement had its first meeting in November 1981. At the Second Meeting held in 1997, it was decided to bifurcate the scope of the 1977 agreement into two separate segments - one providing for economic and industrial cooperation (agreement signed at Lisbon in April 2000 during the visit of EAM) and the other providing for cooperation in Science & Technology (agreement signed at New Delhi in December 1998 during the visit of the Portuguese Minister for Science and Higher Education, Prof. Jose M. Gago). Another Agreement providing for Avoidance of Double Taxation was signed at Lisbon during the visit of Rashtrapatiji in September 1998. Both these agreements have since entered into force with the completion of ratification procedures.

A Cooperation Agreement was signed in January 1992, between FICCI and the Portuguese Institute for Foreign Trade and Investment (ICEP). A Joint Business Council established under this agreement met in 1993, 1995 and 1997. A Cooperation Agreement between Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Portuguese Association of Industries (AIP) was signed in July 1995.

Two Agreements, viz., Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) and an Agreement setting up a Joint Working Group on Information Technology were signed during the PM’s visit in June 2000. They have since entered into force after completion of the related ratification procedures by the two countries.

The following agreements were signed during the visit of Portuguese President to India in January 2007:

(i) Cultural Exchange Programme (2007-1010)

(ii) Exchange Programme in the fields of Education, Language, Science, Technology and Higher Education (2007-2010)

(iii) Overarching Agreement in the field of Education, Science, Culture, Sports, Youth and Mass Media (2007-2010)

(iv) Extradition Treaty

Bilateral Visits :

High Level Visits From Portugal

  • Mario Soares, Prime Minister, attended the funeral of Mrs. Gandhi, 1984

  • Mario Soares, President, the Chief Guest at Republic Day 1992 (State Visit)

  • Prof. Anibal Cavao Silva, President, visited India in January 2007 (State Visit)

From India

* R. Venkataraman, President, State Visit March-April 1990
* P.V Narasimha Rao, Prime Minister, transit visit, June 1992
* Shankar Dayal Sharma, President, transit halt, May 1995
* P.V. Narasimha Rao, Prime Minister, transit halt, October 1995
* K.R.Narayanan, President, State Visit, September 1998
* A.B. Vajpayee, Prime Minister, June 2000 (First India-EU and Bilateral Summit)

Visits of Foreign Ministers:

From Portugal

  • Mario Soares, Foreign Minister, Dec. 1974 (Indo-Portuguese Treaty)

  • Jaime Gama, Foreign Minister, Feb 6-10, 1997 (Bilateral – at the invitation of EAM)

  • Prof. Joao Cravinho, MOS for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (January 28-30) for the Satyagrah conference

From India

* Eduardo Faleiro, MOS(EA), July 1991 (Gold Ornaments – returned by Portugal)
* P.V Narasimha Rao, EAM, April 1984 (Indo-Portugal Cultural Agreement)
* Pranab Mukherjee, EAM, July 1995 (Protocol on FO level consultations)
* Jaswant Singh, EAM, April 2000 (Preparatory visit for the 1st India-EU Summit)

Other Visits:

From Portugal

  • Antonio de Almeida Santos, President of the Portuguese National Assembly (Speaker, Dec. 15-22, 1998 (Led Portuguese Parliamentary delegation)

  • Joao Bosco Mota Amaral, President of the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic (Speaker of the Portuguese Parliament), Jan. 2003 (Led a four-member delegation to the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Indian Parliament).

  • Jose M. Gago, Portuguese Minister for Science and Technology, 3rd December 1998 (an agreement for Cooperation in Science and Technology was signed),

From India

  • Murlimanohar Joshi visited Portugal on July 3, 2001 (two protocols providing for a programme of cooperation and joint research projects in Science and Technology and Ocean Science were signed)

  • Manohar Joshi, Hon’ble Speaker, Lok Sabha visited Portugal, May 25-28, 2003 (celebration of Indian Parliament)

  • K. Prathibha Bharathi, Hon’ble Speaker, AP Legislative Assembly, Oct.14-17, 2003 (On
    a post-conference study tour)

  • T. N. Haokip, Hon’ble Speaker, Manipur Legislative Assembly, Sept.17-19, 2004 (On a study tour)

  • Kumari Selja, Hon’ble MOS(IC) for Urban Employment & Poverty Alleviation visited Portugal, Sept. 17-20, 2004 (to meet Portuguese Minister of Cities)

  • Jagdish Tytler, Minister of State for Overseas Indian Affairs, Oct. 07-10, 2004 (to meet with NRIs and publicise Pravasi Bharatiya Divas celebrations)

  • Franciso Sardanha, Hon’ble Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly visited Portugal on a study tour from 17-18th September, 2005.

  • Oscar Fernandes, Minister of State Independent Charge visited Portugal, March 8-10, 2006 to represent India at the Inauguration Ceremony of the Portuguese President Cavaco Silva.

Commercial and Economic Relations:

Indo-Portuguese bilateral trade, though small in volume, has been growing steadily over the years, and holds promising potential for further growth and diversification. The bilateral trade, grew from US $ 69 million in 1991 to US$ 289.52 million in ( Jan-Dec. 2005). The bilateral trade has been largely one sided, and in India's favour with India's exports constituting over 70% of the trade turnover.


( in million euros/million US$)

%Chg 03/02 in Euro term in US $ term % Chge 04/03 in Euro term in US $ term % Chge 05/04 in Euro term in US $ term
INDIA’S EXPORT Euros 196.43 US $ 192.50 mil Euros 158.90
US$ 200.21mil
Euros 175.37 US$ 217.46 mil Euros 207.83
US$ 257.71mil
Euros 58.06 US $ 70.25



10.4% 8.6% 18.5% 18.5%
INDIA’S IMPORT Euros 16.58 US $ 16.25 mil Euros 18.27 US $ 23.02mil Euros 18.37 US$ 22.78 mil Euros 25.65 US $ 31.81mil Euros 7.12 US $ 8.62



BALANCE Euros 179.85 US $ 176.25 mil Euros 140.63 US$177.19 mil Euros 157.00 US$ 194.68 mil Euros 182.18 US $225.90mil Euros 50.94 US $ 61.63 -21.8
16.0 %
16.0 %

Average Rate of Exchange :
1 Euro = Esc.200-482

2002: 1 Euro = .98 US$
2003: 1 Euro =1.26US$
2004:1 Euro =1.24US$
2005:1 Euro=1.24US$

Indian exports to Portugal comprise principally of marine products, cotton and synthetic textiles, leather, footwear, hides and skins, staple fibres, coffee, tea & spices. There has been some significant diversification of late with items such as carpets, gems and jewellery, silk and silk products, tobacco, electrical machinery & parts, iron & steel products, dyeing & tanning products, and organic chemicals have gradually begun to find a small share and take hold in the Portuguese market. These items have considerable potential for further growth.. Automobile spares and components, computer software, bicycles, scooters and other two wheelers, and rice are among other products which have promising potential Portuguese exports to India consist mainly of cork and cork products, pulp and paper products, organic chemicals and plastics and its products. Portugal has justifiably been concerned about this lop-sided feature of its trade with India. Portuguese export performance could improve, given the profound transformation taking place in the Indian economy, provided they develop closer interaction with India through exchange of business visits, participation in fairs etc. The Portuguese Ministry of Trade has identified India as a market to be developed on a priority basis.

The Indo-Portuguese Joint Commission (coordinated by Commerce Ministry) met in New Delhi on 12 December 2006.

S&T Relations, cooperation in other fields:

On 3rd December 1998, during the visit to India of Professor Jose M. Gago, Portuguese Minister for Science and Technology, an agreement for Cooperation in Science and Technology was signed. Pursuant thereto, during the return visit to Portugal by Prof. Murlimanohar Joshi, two protocols were signed at Lisbon on July 3, 2001 – providing for a programme of cooperation and joint research projects in Science and Technology and Ocean Science. At the First Meeting of the Indo-Portuguese Joint Committee on Science & Technology and the Working Group on Ocean Science & Technology held in Lisbon from 24-03-03 to 26-03-03, six proposals for Joint Research Projects in the field of Ocean Science & Technology and seven in the area of Science & Technology were approved for funding under the two protocols signed on 03-07-2001.

Chairs in Universities on Indian Studies, South Asian Studies:
At the moment, there are no chairs in Portuguese Universities on these subjects.

A Portuguese Professor has been appointed head of the Department of Oriental Studies in the Portuguese Catholic University which proposes to start regular courses in Indian languages.

Major Indian projects:

As of now we have no information on major Indian projects in Portugal. Portuguese investments abroad have grown from US$ 985 million in 1996 to Euros 8.517 billion in 2002 but have fallen to 3.788 billion in 2003. However, there are no major Portuguese investments in India.

Indo-Portuguese bilateral investments are small fractions of their total investments. Immense potential exists in various areas of competitive strengths. India offers profitable opportunities for Portuguese companies in the Information and Communication Technology, pharmaceuticals, textiles and garments, infrastructure and construction specially in port building and food processing industries. Similarly, Indian companies can invest in Portugal in sectors like tourism, deep sea fishing, ceramics, marble and metallic ores, cork, paper and pulp industries and wineries.

By building and strengthening relations of trust, companies and businessmen can harness the immense potential for increased prosperity of both the countries. Both countries are viewing cross investments as priority areas to be developed.

Tata Consultancy Services have set up a Portuguese office and have started their operations in Portugal from February, 2005.

Cultural Troupes:

Since 2000, Aditi Mangal Das, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pandit Ram Narain and Madhvi Mudgal have performed in Portugal. A ten-member ICCR-sponsored Children’s folklore troupe (Langas and Maganiars) from Rupayan Sansthan, Rajasthan also gave eight performances in Portugal. Several private impresarios also bring out prominent artists such as Zakir Hussain (Shakti). Two major exhibitions ‘Zoom’ (contemporary Indian Art) and ‘Goa & the Grand Mughal’ and performance by Aditi Mangal Das, Shantala Shivalingappa & Bombay Jayshree were organised by major private Portuguese organisations in 2004 and 2005 in Lisbon.

Student Exchange Programmes:

Under a Cultural Agreement signed between the two countries on 07-04-1980, Cultural Exchange Programmes are concluded periodically. A new three programme has been finalised and is expected to be signed for the period 2005-2007 shortly, along with an additional Educational Exchange Programme. Under the Cultural Exchange Programmes, ICCR provides two scholarship slots for Portuguese scholars desirous of pursuing higher studies in India. A good number of Indian students come to Portugal on Instituto Camoes and other scholarships. Their exact number is not known.

Any Sister City relations with India:

The cities of Coimbra in Portugal and Daman in India have established twin-city relationship. The cities of Laures (a suburb of Lisbon) and Diu had also entered into a similar twin city agreement.

Important streets, public places named after Indian leaders:
There are two statues of Mahatma Gandhi in Lisbon. The first is a statue in a small square in the diplomatic area of Restelo. The second is just outside the Hindu Community Complex in the Lumiar area. The road in front of the Hindu Community premises is named Alameda Mahatma Gandhi.

Types of visas from India: As applicable under the Schengen regime.

Air links with India: There are no direct commercial scheduled flights from Lisbon to anywhere in India. Travel to and from Lisbon has to be via London/Paris/Frankfurt/Amsterdam/Rome etc.

Indian Banks: No Indian bank has any branch in Lisbon. ICICI Bank has held exploratory meetings and
hopes to begin operations soon.

Link to Embassy and Consulate websites: www.indembassy-lisbon.org

Links to local organisations dealing with India:

The only communities with website are –

i) Hindu Community of Portugal : www.communidadehindu.org

ii) Casa da Goa : http://www.goacom.com/casa.de.goa

Estimates NRI/PIO population :

Out of a population of 10 million, the Indian origin community is estimated at around 70,000 or 0.7% of the population. The actual number of Indian citizens in Portugal is
estimated at 5000.

Important NRI/PIO associations:

i) Hindu Community of Portugal, Rua da Madalena, 121, 1100-319 Lisbon, Ph : 21 88 75 434 Fax : 21 88 76 132, (interbrinca@mail.telepac.pt)

ii) Ismaili Cultural Centre, Rua Abranches Ferrao,1600-001, LISBONPh : 21 722 9000/21 313 80 20 , Fax : 21 722 90 01

iii) Casa da Goa, Baluarte do Livramento, Calcada do Livramento, 17, 1350-188, LISBOA. Ph : 21 39 30 078 Fax : 21 393 0167

iv) Porto Hindu Association, Av. Da Republica, 755-3 Sala 31,4430-201 Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto Ph : 22 375 8750 Mobile : 93 976 43 45 Fax : 22 375 8824

v) Gurdwara Sikh Sangat Sahib Rua Padre Americo Monteiro Agular, Vivenda da Luz, Serra da Luz,1675, Pontinha, Ph : 21 479 11 25 Mobile : 91 795 94 95

vi) Communidade Islamica de Lisboa, Mesquita Central de Lisboa,Avenida Jose Malhoa, 1070 238 Lisbon, Ph : 21 38 74 142/220 Fax: 21 38 72 230

NRI/PIO holding significant public offices:

Although the Indian community is generally not very active in national politics, there are many individuals who have attained notable political eminence. We may mention, besides Professor Andre Goncalves Pereira, former Foreign Minister and Prof. Doutor Alfredo Bruto da Costa, former Minister of Social Welfare, the names of Prof. Narana Coissoro, Member of Parliament from 1976, till 2005 and Dr. Abilio Fernandes, Mayor of Evora from 1977 - 2002. Recently Dr. Antonio Costa (whose father was of Indian origin) has taken over as Home Minister and is ranked immediately after the Prime Minister in the order of priority. Various groups of the Indian community have good equations with political parties and the government, who in turn seek electoral support by participating in and encouraging the sociocultural activities of those groups.

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