The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu who is presently in Brussels to attend the ASEM Summit 2018, had a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Portugal, Mr. Antonio Costa, at the EU headquarters building earlier yesterday.
The Vice President recalled PM Costa’s successful State Visit to India in January 2017 when he had been honoured with the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award. He commended PM Costa for his personal commitment to strengthening India-Portugal relations. He thanked PM Costa for joining the Committee set up to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi worldwide. The Vice President also briefed PM Costa about the developmental programmes of the Government of India such as “Beti Padhao Beti Bachao” and Clean India and flagship initiatives including the Make-in-India, Digital India and Make-in-India flagship programmes.
The Prime Minister Costa said that he was happy with the ongoing positive momentum in the bilateral relations. He said that India-Portugal bilateral trade was on the rise and that Portuguese companies were encouraged by the potential of the Indian market. He mentioned that Vision-Box, a Portuguese technology company had recently secured a contract from Bengaluru International Airport to facilitate seamless and paperless air travel using facial recognition biometric technologies. He also mentioned that Portugal had recently signed a MoU with Goa for a pilot project for water supply and waste water management as part of the Panaji Smart City initiative.
The Vice President mentioned that India and Portugal should collaborate in new areas of cutting-edge technology. He said that defence, space, infrastructure and startups are areas that offer potential business opportunities. He also thanked Portugal for reiterating its support for India’s permanent membership of the UN Security Council. He mentioned that India’s inclusion in the UNSC will bolster the credibility and effectiveness of the United Nations.