Porto brings local development to the Strategic Triangle: Latin America and the Caribbean - Europe - Africa

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'Cities and Subnational Diplomacy - Boosting Development at Local Level' was the theme of the session that led the Councillor for Tourism and Internationalisation to take part in the 13th edition of the Strategic Triangle: Latin America and the Caribbean - Europe - Africa, organised in Lisbon by IPDAL - Institute for the Promotion of Latin America and the Caribbean.

'Porto is determined to play a central role in building a more prosperous and resilient future', Catarina Santos Cunha underlines, adding that the city 'is ready to share our experiences and successful strategies, while learning from the valuable practices of our colleagues in Europe, Latin America and Africa'.

'We believe that together we can boost the development of our cities and create meaningful opportunities for all our communities', the Councillor said.

During the panel, Catarina Santos Cunha acknowledged that the city's internationalisation has received attention from the Municipality, visible in the evolution of recent years 'mainly resulting from a large investment in the economy, culture and the social component', as well as in its rehabilitation.

And the concern, she says, 'is not just for those who visit us, but to create a pleasant city with an excellent quality of life that can attract those who visit, but also those who come to study, invest and work'.

In the words of the Councillor, the city's diplomacy regarding other cities 'has increased. We have been establishing cooperative relationships with ambassadors in areas where we are internationally renowned'.

New blocks, new narratives to attract tourists

Responsible for the Tourism Department, Catarina Santos Cunha recalled how Porto has been developing a strategy to disperse flows throughout the territory, with the creation of new blocks of attraction, which 'allow tourists to move around more and economic development to reach other areas of the city'.

With the number of tourists growing - last month the increase, she recalled, was 14% - the Councillor emphasises that the focus is on 'maintaining the city's sustainability, the balance between residents and those who visit us, which is absolutely fundamental, the involvement of the communities in these blocks'.

Catarina Santos Cunha defends the need to create relationships between cities, namely mentioning Porto's membership of the Great Wine Capitals network. 'Dispersing is also for the Douro region. It's impossible to go to Porto and not go to the Douro', she says, adding the importance of the Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, which 'serves a region and Galicia too'.

The event was also attended by the Secretary of State for European Affairs, Inês Domingos, the Lisbon City Councillor, Filipa Roseta, the Secretary General of the Organisation of American States, Luís Almagro, the former Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister, Ana Palacio, and the Jamaican Ambassador to the European Union, Symone Betton Nayo.

The Strategic Triangle initiative: Latin America and the Caribbean - Europe - Africa had as its motto the promotion of discussions that go beyond geographical and political divisions, shaping the future of international relations between people and continents, ranging from climate financing to artificial intelligence.