“I would like to be an instrument of unity between Pakistan and Portugal,” said Portugal’s envoy to Pakistan on the national day of his country.
Portugal’s Charge De’ Affairs to Pakistan Joao Paulo Sabido Costa said: “There is a big room to invest in Pakistan, a country of more than 280 million people. After a lapse of ten years, as a Portuguese citizen it feels satisfying to celebrate Portugal’s national day in Islamabad.”
He said Portugal is making efforts to enhance trade relations with Pakistan, especially in the sectors of textile, chemical industry, aeronautical industry, marble, dairy farming, agriculture and tourism. Portugal has also softened its visa policy for students and businessmen, he added.
According to Costa, a delegation of Portuguese parliamentarians under the chairmanship of Portuguese Assembly speaker will meet the Pakistani president, prime minister, National Assembly speaker and parliamentarians in June this year.
“Pakistan has an immense scope in tourism. The business councils of both the countries have arranged an exhibition of Pakistani products in Lisbon this year. There will be a cultural show in Lisbon to promote Pakistani culture and folk music,” Costa said, and added, “Pakistani products have a good demand in Europe as well as Portugal”.
A group of businessmen from Pakistan are participating in the exhibition under the flag of Pakistan Portugal Business Council (PPBC).
PPBC Chairman Mohammad Awais said that the exhibition aims to build business-to-business linkages, and to generate networking opportunities for Portugal and Pakistani businesses. A particular focus would be on fashion apparel, agri-products, livestock and healthcare, Awais added.
“When I took over my charge here in Islamabad, I tried my best to increase the bilateral trade volume between the two countries on a priority basis. For this I visited Lahore, Sahiwal, Gujranwala and other cities to encourage the business community and paved the way for boosting up trade between Pakistan and Portugal,” Costa said.
He admitted that the trade volume between the two countries was meagre, but efforts are being made from both sides to increase it by the end of the current year.