Portugal plans embassy in Doha

January 16, 2011 - 10:33:30 pm

The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani with the Prime Minister of the Portuguese Republic, Jose Socrates at the Emiri Diwan yesterday.

DOHA: Portugal plans to set up an embassy in Doha soon, the country's visiting Prime Minister Jose Socrates disclosed yesterday. Qatar and Portugal are keen to enhance bilateral relations, cooperate with each other 'more closely' and develop trade tie, Socrates, who is here on two-day official visit, told reporters.

"The visit is an opportunity to boost trade relations between Qatar and Portugal , which have access to important opportunities to promote economic cooperation in energy, infrastructure and financial sectors," Socrates said.

"The time has come to enhance bilateral talks aimed at better trade relations," he continued.

On whether his visit to Qatar is also aimed at discussing investment in the Portuguese government's debts, Socrates explained that this issue was not taken up during discussions. Talks dealt with the available opportunities for Qatari investments in Portugal and means of setting up Portuguese firms in Qatar as part of enhancing mutual investments, he added. He stressed that his country believes that strengthening relations with Qatar, which belongs to one of the most developed financial market in the world, represents "a very good opportunity for the Portuguese economy."

Socrates believes that his historic visit to Qatar would witness the signing of a number of agreements in energy, finance, tourism and trade sectors, which would serve as a framework for bilateral cooperation for a long-lasting relationship between Qatar and Portugal.

An official round of talks between Qatar led by the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani and the Portugal under the Prime Minister, Jose Socrates was held at the Emiri Diwan yesterday.

Talks during the session dealt with bilateral relations of cooperation and means of enhancing them besides a number of regional and international issues of mutual concern. Following the talks, Prime Minister and his Portuguese counterpart witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Qatari Ministry of Energy and Industry and the Portugal Ministry for Economy, Innovation and Development, which pertains to renewable energy and optimal use of energy and a MoU between Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and the Portugal Ministry on tourism cooperation.

The two MoU were signed for the Qatari side by the Minister of State for Energy Affairs and Industry, H E Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada and QTA Chairman Ahmed Al Nuaimi, while they were signed for the Portugal side by the Minister for Economy, Innovation and Development, Vieira da Silva and the Secretary of State for Economy, Carlos Zorrinho.

The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister hosted a luncheon banquet in honour of the Portuguese Premier and the accompanying delegation. The Portuguese Prime Minister on arrival at the Emiri Diwan was accorded an official reception, prior to the commencement of the official round of talks.

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