Staff Reporter Karachi
A webinar on ‘Portugal-Pakistan Relations and Future Aspirations’ was conducted on Wednesday and was moderated by Arshad Saeed Hussain.
Ambassador of Portugal to Pakistan, Paulo Neves Pocinho, addressed the participants as the plenary speaker at the webinar; which was also attended by the former ambassador of Pakistan to Portugal Ms. Zehra Akbari.
Paulo Neves Pocinho Ambassador of Portugal, in his address stated that the bilateral relations between Portugal and Pakistan have always been friendly.
He informed the participants that in November this year, fruitful diplomatic consultations are planned in addition to signing of pending agreements.
He stated that the diplomatic facilities have been revamped to facilitate provision of smooth consular services to encourage people-to-people contacts which are vital for a strong relationship.
Ambassador Pocinho shared with detail his positive diplomatic experiences and Portugal’s historical linkages in the region.
He added that now is the ideal time to strengthen the political relations and improve the partnership for which political consultations are being initiated.
He said that the pandemic caused a gap in the efforts for liaison between Chambers of Commerce in Pakistan and the Embassy of Portugal to improve business relations, but those efforts can be resumed in the future.
Concluding his remarks, he affirmed that further areas of mutual cooperation must be explored for enhancement of the valuable relationship, and thanked Chairman Ikram Sehgal of Karachi Council on Foreign Relations for his invitation to address the webinar.
Before him Ambassador Zehra Akbari in her introductory remarks apprised the participants of the historically cordial and friendly diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Portugal since the establishment of diplomatic ties in November 1949.
The two countries have since cooperated on issues of mutual interest including trade, investment, air traffic, avoidance of double taxation and tax evasion, and diplomatic academies of the two countries have also been working in partnership.
High level dignitaries have also exchanged visits, and Parliamentary Friendship Groups in the respective parliaments of both countries have provided a useful forum to promote parliamentary contacts and exchanges.
She added that Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with Portugal both in a bilateral context and in the context of EU.
In his concluding remarks, KCFR Chairman Mr. Ikram Sehgal explained to the participants of the importance he personally attaches to Portugalsince he has been regularly attending international meetings in Portugal since 2017, and appreciated Portuguese people’s hospitality during his visits.
He expressed his desire for a continued engagement between the KCFR and the Portuguese embassy.