Portugal, Philippines forge stronger diplomatic ties
MANILA, Philippines – In a significant display of diplomatic solidarity, Portugal’s Foreign Minister João Gomes Cravinho made a historic official visit to the Philippines on Friday, July 28.
This visit of the highest-ranking Portuguese official to the Philippines since 1946, marks a crucial turning point between the two nations, underscoring the renewed interest and commitment to furthering bilateral cooperation.
“It is clear to me that the relations between Portugal and the Philippines have considerable potential, despite the fact that we have known each other for 500 years, that our first contacts came in the context of the dawn of the era of globalization,” said Cravinho.
“We have not in the last few years in most recent years taken full advantage of all the possibilities that do exist,” he added.
During his visit, Cravinho acknowledged the significance of the Philippines and the outstanding contributions of the Filipino people on a global scale.
This recognition sets the stage for enhanced cooperation and opens doors for more Filipino workers to come to Portugal while encouraging Portuguese companies to invest in the Philippines.
Hosting the visit were the Portuguese Consuls of Manila and Cebu, Ramon Garcia Jr. and Samuel Chiongson.
“I am excited at having the highest diplomat from Portugal since 1946 arrive in the Philippines. It is a showcase that the Philippines as a country and its citizens have an important role to play on a global stage and that our economy continues to be of interest to the Portuguese,” said Garcia.
“We will see more cooperation from Portugal,” he added.
Garcia also mentioned that Portuguese companies hold great interest in the progress happening in the Philippines, particularly in the energy sector.
The potential for future investments in defense, transportation, energy, and information technology sectors was highlighted, affirming Portugal’s commitment to engaging in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives with the Philippines.
The official visit was met with warm hospitality and enthusiasm from the Philippine side.
Also on hand to welcome the Portuguese official were Secretary of Transportation Jaime Bautista, Secretary of Information & Communications Technology Ivan Uy, and Secretary / CEZA Administrator Katrina Ponce Enrile.
Senate President Miguel Zubiri, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, EU Ambassador Luc Veron, and the Head of the European Chamber Paolo Duarte were also among the distinguished guests who engaged in crucial discussions with the Portuguese delegation.
Cravinho also met with Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo.
Cravinho’s historic visit paves the way for a stronger and more fruitful partnership between the Philippines and Portugal.
As both countries look to the future, the visit serves as a testament to their shared commitment to building bridges, fostering cooperation, and shaping a brighter, more interconnected world.