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India-Portugal Joint Statement during the State visit of Prime Minister of Portugal to India [India-Portugal relations: Historic Ties to a 21st Century Partnership Deepening bilateral relations]

January 07, 2017

Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Costa visited India on a State Visit from 7-12, January 2017 at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The two leaders held official talks in New Delhi on 7 January 2017. Expressing satisfaction at the excellent state of India-Portugal relations, they affirmed their strong commitment to further strengthen ties and build a forward-looking 21st century partnership based on the strong links of shared history, culture and people-to-people relations. Prime Minister Modi thanked Prime Minister Costa for accepting his invitation to be the Chief Guest at the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas celebration in Bengaluru on 8-9 January 2017 and for his participation in the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in Gandhinagar on 10 January, followed by his visit to Goa on 11-12 January 2017.

The two Prime Ministers called for comprehensive deepening of the partnership. To this end, they agreed to work together to enhance economic, scientific and technological cooperation, building upon the complementarities between the two countries and forge a contemporary global partnership to promote peace, security and prosperity of the two countries.

Noting that the full potential of bilateral trade and investment ties between the two countries was yet to be realized, the two Prime Ministers called for expanding two-way trade and investment by leveraging their complementary strengths to boost economic growth, sustainable development, research, innovation and entrepreneurship, and build networks of cooperation for mutual growth and progress. Building on the shared priorities of both countries, they identified the following focus sectors: infrastructure, renewable energy, defence industries, information and communication technologies (ICT) and Start Ups, agriculture, food processing, food security, water and waste management, tourism and hospitality, pharmaceuticals and automotive products. They decided to exchange sector-specific trade and investment delegations and agreed to convene the 4th session of the Joint Economic Committee meeting on 11-12 April 2017 in Lisbon to chart a roadmap for enhancing trade and investment.

Recognizing the opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation in the defence sector, the two leaders welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on defence cooperation. Underscoring the substantial opportunities in India’s defence sector and the niche technological competencies of the Portuguese defence industry, Prime Minister Modi invited Portuguese companies to ‘Make in India’ and set up Joint Ventures and commercial partnerships based on joint production and technology transfer. Prime Minister Modi also took the opportunity to thank Prime Minister Costa for Portugal’s consistent support and assistance to Indian defence delegations transiting Portugal.

Taking positive note of the progress being made by India and Portugal in the renewable energy sector, the two leaders welcomed the Memorandum of Understanding signed during the visit, as a framework for promoting closer cooperation between the two countries in wind, solar and hydro-electricity sectors. Prime Minister Modi noted that India’s programme to produce 175 Gigawatt of renewable energy by 2022 offered immense opportunities for mutually beneficial collaboration between India and Portugal, including commercial partnerships, research and development (R&D), exchange of experts/information, online monitoring of wind turbines and off-shore wind energy platforms.

Noting the priority accorded to boosting Start Ups and the impressive strides being made by both countries to create favourable ecosystems for entrepreneurship, the two Prime Ministers agreed to support greater collaboration between entrepreneurs and Start Ups of both countries. In this context, the leaders welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Start Ups and the roadmap therein and called for regular exchanges between Start-Up India and Start-Up Portugal to boost business and enterprise. Lauding the successful convening of the global Web Summit in Lisbon in November 2016 and the large participation of Indian Start Ups, Prime Minister Modi welcomed the anchoring of future editions of the annual event in Portugal and hoped that Portugal would become a gateway to Europe and the Lusophone world, for Indian Start-ups. To facilitate this shared objective, Prime Minister Costa made a strong commitment to an expeditious processing of visas to Indian startups and businesses keen to set up operations in Portugal, within the framework of applicable law.

Recognizing the important steps taken by both countries to leverage ICT for economic growth and development, boost digitization and e-governance, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the Memorandum of Understanding signed in the area of Information Technology, Electronics and Communications and looked forward to early conclusion of the MoU on Public Administration and Governance Reforms.

The two leaders noted that there was significant untapped potential for bilateral cooperation in agriculture, food processing and allied sectors. In this regard, they welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries to initiate collaboration in these areas, with the objective of expediting phytosanitary certification of products of animal and vegetal origin from both countries, enhancing two-way market access, investment, technology cooperation and exchange of expertise. To facilitate this, the two leaders also called for regular exchanges and cooperation between regulatory authorities of both countries.

Emphasizing the substantial opportunities presented by India’s ambitious Smart Cities, Clean India, and other urban infrastructure programmes, Prime Minister Modi invited Portuguese public and private sector entities to set up partnerships with Indian entities, especially in water and waste management. It was agreed that Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) models in waste segregation and management systems, waste-to-energy conversion as well as water efficiency and sustainability, water infrastructure asset management, smart grids and transmission loss reduction, were important focus areas.

In order to encourage Portuguese investments into India, Prime Minister Modi assured that Invest India would provide special hand-holding and facilitation for Portuguese investors.

The two Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction at the on-going science and technology cooperation between the two countries, including joint research projects in areas like biotechnology and human health, marine science and technology, material sciences and renewable energy. Both sides recognized the importance of scientific and technological cooperation in contributing to the knowledge economy of the 21st century and sustainable development of both countries and decided that the 5th session of the Joint Science and Technology Committee will meet on 13-14 March 2017 in Portugal to announce new research projects and programmes of cooperation for joint implementation, as well as to identify new collaborative research areas, such as nanoscience and nanotechnology, among others of common interest.

Taking note of the significant work being done in both countries in the important field of marine research, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the initiation of bilateral cooperation in this area through the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera and the Ministry of Earth Sciences in India. They expressed confidence that this new collaboration and the possible participation of India in the Atlantic International Research Center (AIR Centre) would enhance their understanding of the atmospheric and oceanographic processes of the Indian and Atlantic oceans and help create new knowledge on ocean and space information services to more effectively deal with climate change, ocean disasters and harness marine resources in a sustainable way.

Acknowledging both countries’ strong links to the sea, the two Prime Ministers called for enhancing their cooperation in the fields of Maritime Transport and Ports.

While looking towards building a partnership of the future, the two Prime Ministers agreed that it was equally important to nurture and enhance the longstanding cultural linkages and people-to-people ties between the two countries. To this end, they committed to strengthen Portuguese and Indian studies in each others’ educational institutions and Universities; enhance reciprocal promotion of Portuguese and Indian languages; extend greater support to the projection of Indian and Portuguese art, culture and entertainment; encourage cooperation in the area of visual arts, performing arts, archives, cultural heritage through actions concerning World Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage in the framework of UNESCO; literature and libraries; develop cooperation on cinematographic co-production; promote youth exchange and collaboration in sports. In this context, they looked forward to early conclusion of the MoUs in the areas of culture, cinematographic cooperation and co-production, youth and sports.

Both leaders welcomed the existing cooperation in the field of higher education and expressed their satisfaction on the re-opening of the Camões Lectureship at the University of Delhi – which dates from 1986 – and the creation of a new Bachelor’s Degree in Portuguese/Lusophone Studies.

They also welcomed the institution of an ICCR Chair for India Studies at the University of Lisbon for a duration of two years, to promote Indian Studies in the areas of history, culture and society, Indian philosophy, Indian ocean and Indian languages.

Recognizing the cultural and commercial significance of India’s film industry and its growing interest in Portugal as a foreign locale for shooting films, Prime Minister Costa agreed to facilitate enhanced collaboration to make Portugal a preferred filming destination for the Indian film industry. In this context, they looked forward to early conclusion of an Audio-Visual Co-Production Agreement between the two countries, as a timely initiative to incentivize joint film production and boost cooperation in the vibrant film sector.

Noting the salutary impact of encouraging sports amongst youth and the growing popularity of soccer in India as well as Portugal’s acknowledged standing in this sport, the two leaders welcomed the ongoing efforts to institutionalize collaboration between football clubs and associations in both countries to better harness sports talent and collaborate in training and exchange of school students and coaches and holding of soccer camps.

Underscoring the priority attached by both countries to boosting tourism and people-to-people contacts and the substantial potential for bilateral collaboration in the tourism and hospitality sector, the two leaders agreed to take necessary steps to bolster cooperation. In this context, they welcomed the signing of institutional cooperation agreements between Turismo de Portugal and the Institute of Hotel Management in Ahmedabad and the V. M. Salgaocar Institute of International Hospitality Education for exchange of students on a regular basis and encouraged stakeholders on both sides to collaborate actively to mutual benefit.

The two Prime Ministers looked forward to the signing of the Protocol amending the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and to early ratification of the Social Security Agreement by Portugal to enable it to enter into force.

With a view to facilitating official-level exchanges and regular institutionalized dialogues, the two leaders also welcomed the signing of the visa-free travel agreement for diplomatic passport holders of both countries.

The leaders welcomed the joint issue of a commemorative postage stamp depicting dance forms as a celebration of the shared cultural heritage.

The two Prime Ministers lauded the valuable contribution of the Indian diaspora to strengthening bilateral relations and serving as a living bridge between the two countries. Prime Minister Modi thanked Prime Minister Costa for the valuable support rendered by the Portuguese government and local authorities to the integration of the Indian diaspora in Portugal, as well as to the practice of Yoga and the celebration of the International Yoga Day in Portugal. Both Prime Ministers agreed that the health sector also presented a significant potential for further cooperation.

Both leaders agreed that any disputes and other issues of mutual interest will continue to be addressed through the diplomatic channels, namely in the next Political Consultations, in the spirit of the Treaty of 1974, which set out the foundations of friendship and cooperation between both countries.

Enhancing global partnership


The two Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction at the excellent state of cooperation between the two countries in the United Nations and other multilateral fora. They noted that this collaboration was one of the key successes of the India-Portugal bilateral partnership.

Prime Minister Modi thanked Prime Minister Costa for the support extended by Portugal to India’s permanent membership to a reformed and expanded UN Security Council. The two sides called for urgent and comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council, especially its expansion in both permanent and non-permanent categories, so as to make it more effective, accountable and representative of the geo-political realities of the 21st century. In this regard, both sides voiced their support for an early initiation of text-based negotiations in the ongoing Inter-governmental negotiations (IGN) at the United Nations.

Deeply concerned about the growing threat of terrorism to international peace and security, both sides expressed strong condemnation of extremism and terrorism in all their forms and manifestations, irrespective of who the perpetrators are and of their motivations. They called for eliminating terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and their financing. Considering the urgent need to establish a comprehensive international legal framework to address the growing global menace of terrorism, they called for early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the United Nations.

Recognizing the importance of the central role of UN in combating terrorism, they exhorted the international community to effectively implement the measures enumerated by the 1267 UN Sanctions Committee.

They further called upon the global community to desist from using double standards in addressing the scourge of terrorism and to strengthen cooperation in combating international terrorism in a spirit of 'zero tolerance' towards terrorism. They underlined that States should not support any terror entity including 'non-State actors' on any grounds and that violent extremism fueled by misuse of internet and the social media needs to be countered. Similarly, networks of terrorist financing and terrorist infrastructure should be dismantled.

The leaders underlined their shared interest in strengthening global non-proliferation objectives. In this regard, Portugal welcomed India’s joining of the MissileTechnology Control Regime (MTCR) in June 2016 and expressed the hope that India will achieve early membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Both leaders agreed that India’s participation in the NSG will strengthen nuclear non-proliferation and make global nuclear commerce more secure. Prime Minister Modi thanked Prime Minister Costa for Portugal’s continued support to India’s membership to the various multilateral export control regimes.

The Prime Ministers discussed the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) and the possibility of India joining the organisation as an Associate Observer. Prime Minister Modi assured positive consideration of such possibility. India’s entry as an Associate Observer into the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) could impart further momentum to India-Portugal bilateral relations and strengthen India’s ties with 280 million people living in Portuguese-speaking countries. They also welcomed the Joint Declaration issued by the two countries to work in cooperation with third country partners to strengthen economic cooperation.

Prime Minister Costa thanked Prime Minister Modi for his warmth and hospitality and invited him to visit Portugal.

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