Portugal’s Charge De’ Affairs to Pakistan Hosts National Day Reception in Islamabad

Arif Qureshi

Portugal’s Charge De’ Affairs to Pakistan Joao Paulo Sabido Costa, hosted an excellent and colorful national day reception here in Islamabad on 3rd June at Serena Hotel Islamabad. Federal Minister for Industries and production Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi was the chief guest of the occasion. Charge de Affaires of Portugal Joan Sabido Costa and his spouse Mrs. Gloria Sabido Costa warmly received and welcomed the guest on the occasion. Scores of the ambassadors from diplomatic crops, parliamentarians, media personalities, security officials and business community was among the participants.

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The key feature of the Portugal’s National Day reception was dominations of business community of Pakistan. President FPCCI Abdul Rauf Alam and Muhammad Awais Chairman Pakistan Portugal Business Council (PPBC) were present with their business community. The ceremony was started with the playing of national anthems of both Pakistan and Portugal. Portugal ambassador with chief guest Federal Minister for Industries and Production Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, Ambassador of Romania Emilion ION, President FPCCI Abdul Rauf Alam and business community cut the cake.

National Council of Arts (NCA) faculty and students have exhibited art work showing similarities between the cultures of both countries on the occaion and a well known artist Rabia Zakir arranged a painting Exhibition presenting history and famous people of Portugal on the national day ceremony of Portugal. The participants took keen interest and appreciated the hard working of NCA and prominent artist Rabia Zakir.

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In his chief guest address Federal Minister for Industries and production Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi said Pakistan and Portugal have excellent relations and there are plenty of areas which are still needed to work. He suggested on the occasion to Portugal’s envoy that Portugal being a key country in the European Union can help Pakistan have access to the EU markets. Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi said we are well aware of the potential which the EU had and with the support of Portugal Pakistan can be benefited.

Addressing on the occasion Portugal’s envoy Joao Paulo Sabido Costa said that after a gap of ten year we feel proud 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.

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He informed the audience that a delegation of Portuguese parliamentarians under the chairmanship of Portuguese Assembly speaker is coming current month, and during stay in Islamabad the will meet the Pakistani president, prime minister, National Assembly speaker and parliamentarians. He assured the business community that he will try his level best to enhance already existing relations between Pakistan during his tenure.

Portugal’s envoy Joao Paulo Sabido Costa said that there is a big room to invest in Pakistan, a country of more than 280 million people. And we are speeding up the efforts in this regard. 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,” Portugal’s envoy added.

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“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.

Although the trade volume between the Pakistan and Protugal  is not at best, According to a hand out of Lahore Chmber of Commerce and Industry in 2012, the total worth of Pakistan’s exports to Portugal was dollar 109 million which increased to dollar 155 million in 2013 and dollar 167 million in 2014. There was almost same trend noticed in imports from Portugal to Pakistan. In 2013, the value of imports was dollar 13 million that slightly increased to dollar 19.2 million in 2014.

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On the other hand Muhammad Awais Chairman Pakistan Portugal Business Council (PPBC) is very optimistic and of the opinion that efforts are being made from Pakistan and Portugal to increase it by the end of the current year.

Commenting on the upcoming exhibition 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.

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Protugal is a very important county of Europe Union. Over 240 million people speak Portuguese and it is the official language of 9 countries. Paris has the largest Portuguese community outside of Portugal. Portugal produces about half the world output of commercial cork. As per the Guinness Book of World Record, Lisbon-based S.L. Benfica is the most widely supported football club. Portugal was among the first countries to abolish capital punishment in 1867. Portugal is the 16th most peaceful country in the world, according to the World Peace Index 2013. The Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon is the longest bridge in Europe. It is 10.m miles (17 km) long. Bertrand Bookstore in Lisbon, dating back to 1732, is the oldest bookstore in the world.

The Writer is Editor Daily Online News Paper “The Fortress” can be reached # arifqoreshi@gmail.com 

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