Goa could gain from tie-ups with Portugal in areas such as drone technology, robotics, cargo planes and water management, as the European country is keen to use the state as a conduit for investment into India because of the historical connect, according to diplomat officials of both the countries.
On Wednesday, Indian Ambassador to Portugal K Nandini Singla, while inaugurating a Portugal India business (PIB) hub in the city, said that Portugal has just come out of recession, and India as the world’s fastest growing economy is being pitched as the best place for doing business. “Portuguese have the comfort zone with Goans and there is window of opportunity through Goa,” she said.
Consul General of Portugal in Goa Dr Rui Baceira pointed out that new areas are emerging in Portugal such as IT startups and in science and technology. “Our businessmen need enterprises in these upcoming areas,” he said. In October, Portugal would be hosting web summit, which will be the biggest tech event in the world, and Goan startups must take advantage of the summit, said Baceira.
The PIB hub is the first of such hubs planned between the two countries to facilitate trade. The first of such hubs is located in Goa while more are slated to come up in Mumbai and Bengaluru. Similarly, Portugal has also launched a business hub for India, said Singla.
She said that the hub in Panaji will hopefully encourage Portuguese entrepreneurs to venture into India through Goa and vice versa. “While relations between India and Portugal are happy and date back to 500 years, the business volume between the two countries is not so great,” said the Ambassador.
Portugal-India trade is presently estimated at $800 million and most of the increase has taken place in the last one year due to concerted push by governments of both the countries. Further, India and Portugal are having a golden moment in relationship because in a span of six months there have been visits by the Prime Ministers of the two countries followed by the signing of 20 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) in areas of defence, space, science and technology startups, renewable energy, sports, youth exchange among others.
The PIB hub located at the Mathias Plaza on 18th June Road in Panaji is set up by the Reira Group. Darryl Pereira, CEO of Reira Group, said that the principal focus will be in renewable energy, construction, infrastructure, defence, food processing, water management and waste management.
The PIB Hub is currently working with Agencia Para o Investimento e Comercio Externo de Portugal, which is a Portugal global trade and investment agency in the development of direct commercial relations between India and Portugal. The newly opened hub aims to be the main channel for businessmen to know about the two countries, said Altino Alvares, executive vice president, PIB Hub.
Source:: The Navhind Times