India, Portugal Ink Seven Pacts After Modi-Sousa Talks
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) shakes hands with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa prior to a meeting at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi, Friday, 14 February.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) shakes hands with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa prior to a meeting at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi, Friday, 14 February.(Photo: PTI)

India, Portugal Ink Seven Pacts After Modi-Sousa Talks

India and Portugal on Friday, 14 February, signed seven agreements to boost cooperation in a range of areas after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa held extensive talks.

The pacts provide for cooperation in areas of investment, transport, ports, culture and industrial and intellectual property rights.

Portugal is an important country for India in Southern Europe, and bilateral ties have witnessed a steady progress in the last 15 years.

In October 2005, Portugal extradited Abu Salem and Monica Bedi to face terror charges.

Prime Minister Modi visited Portugal in June 2017 during which 11 agreements were signed covering a large number of areas including space, avoidance of double taxation, nano-technology, biotechnology and higher education.

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Sousa arrived on Thursday night on a four-day visit, his first to India. The last visit by a Portuguese President to India was in 2007. He is accompanied by a high-level delegation. Officials said the talks covered entire expanse of bilateral ties including in areas of trade, investment and education.

In the morning, the Portuguese president was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The pacts signed after Modi-Sousa talks included a joint declaration a bilateral mobility partnership and another on maritime transport.

President Ram Nath Kovind will meet the visiting president on Friday evening and host a banquet in his honour. Sousa will also travel to Maharashtra and Goa during his visit.

India-Portugal to Set Up National Maritime Heritage Complex

India on Friday inked pact with Portugal to set up a world class National Maritime Heritage Complex at Lothal in Gujarat.

Both the countries also signed an agreement for cooperation in the area of maritime transport, the shipping ministry said in a statement.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry of Shipping and Ministry of National Defence, Republic of Portugal for development of the Heritage Complex, the statement said.

"With the signing of MoU today, it will facilitate developing of a world class National Maritime Heritage Complex at Lothal, Gujarat with the cooperation from the Republic of Portugal," it added.

The MoU on National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC), Lothal will pave the way for cooperation between the two countries for showcasing common Maritime Heritage, the statement said.

NMHC will consolidate all diverse and rich artefacts from ancient to modern times, and create awareness about India’s rich maritime heritage among general masses.

In a separate statement, the ministry said a cooperation agreement was signed between India and Portugal in the field of Maritime Transport and Ports.

"It will open avenues for cooperation to promote Maritime Transport between the two countries for better operation of their merchant fleets," the statement said.

The agreement will also help both the countries to coordinate accession to international conventions so that the objectives of this pact can be strengthened.

Earlier, Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had welcomed Portugal President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on his arrival on a four-day state visit.

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