Latin American ambassadors, as well as businessmen and representatives of the banking sector of the Ibero-American space met, for the first time, in Porto for the Ibero-American Business Meeting. This initiative of the Institute for the Promotion of Latin America and the Caribbean (IPDAL) seeks to strengthen relations and promote the debate on trade and investment that unites the various countries.
The committee was received at Paços do Concelho by the vice-mayor of Porto, Filipe Araújo, and by the councillor for Tourism and Internationalisation, Catarina Santos Cunha, whose department has, over the last few months, promoted bilateral conversations with the organisation of the event, strengthening the diplomatic and business ties with the city.
Recognising the "unique opportunity to strengthen commercial ties", the vice-mayor reminded the ambassadors that they were "in an entrepreneurial city, which lives in the centre of a strongly industrialised region". "Besides being Invicta, we are also a city known for its strong capacity to venture, to create companies," Filipe Araújo emphasised.
The vice-mayor seized the opportunity to "recognise the fundamental role of promoting economic activity between the various countries and in investment in the Ibero-American space, which is very important for the economic development of our populations".
"It is through constructive dialogue, the sharing of knowledge that relationships are strengthened and that is what makes cities move forward," believes Filipe Araújo.
In the words of the president of IPDAL, Paulo Neves, "if there is an mandatory place to be and work in, it is Porto, a victorious city throughout History". "The fact that so many countries are here shows the importance we attach to this visit, as a result of the dynamics of this city, which is impressive", the president added.
Speaking on behalf of all the diplomats present, Miguel Ángel Prestol, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic, shared the "certainty that this meeting will be very positive for this process of resilience and economic recovery in which our countries are involved after the pandemic".
Trade, investment, and the most successful cases of Ibero-American cooperation
In the afternoon, the vice-mayor of Porto began the work of the Porto Ibero-American Business Meeting, at the Renaissance Porto Lapa Hotel, with the session "Economic Overview: Portugal and Latin America", which was also attended by the Secretary of State for the Treasury, Pedro Sousa Rodrigues, the President of IPDAL, Paulo Neves, and the Vice-President of the Corporation Andina de Fomento - Development Bank of Latin America, Christian Asinelli.
The councillor for Economy, Employment and Entrepreneurship, Ricardo Valente, had the opportunity to debate the theme "Trade and Investment" at a round table with Luís Rebelo de Sousa, director of the Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo (AICEP), António Mendonça, chairman of the Association of Economists, Ana Carvalho, president of Banco Português de Fomento, and Luís de Castro Almeida, director-general of the Spanish bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria in Portugal.
A second round table brought together the councillor for Tourism and Internationalisation, Catarina Santos Cunha, the president of CJR Renewables, Miguel Rodrigues, the general director of Fundación Iberoamericana Empresarial, Miguel Ángel Cortés, the director of Mota-Engil, Pedro Arrais, and the manager of Iberia in Portugal, Manuela Barber, to talk about successful case studies of cooperation.