Philippine Ambassador to Portugal Philippe J. Lhuillier visited the northern city of Porto on March 24 as part of his ongoing efforts to establish contacts with local officials in various key cities and localities in Portugal and discuss with them possible areas of engagement and cooperation in line with the Embassy’s economic and cultural diplomacy work plan.
Earlier this year, Ambassador Lhuillier visited the cities of Coimbra in central Portugal and Funchal in the Autonomous Region of Madeira.
Porto is a key commercial and financial hub of Portugal, especially for the northern region of the country where 70% of Portugal’s exports are produced. Porto serves as the major city with the corresponding port and transport infrastructure to ship out these products to Portugal’s overseas market. With the key role played by Porto in the Portuguese economy, it is the base for many of the major local and international companies operating in Portugal.
During his visit, Ambassador Lhuillier met with City Councilor for Innovation and Environment, Engr. Filipe Araújo who represented the Mayor and the Vice Mayor of Porto.
Councilor Araújo welcomed Ambassador Lhuillier’s intention to enhance links and cultivate relations between the Philippines and Porto and gave assurances that he would endorse to the Mayor and the City Council the Embassy’s proposal to establish a sister-city agreement between Porto and a major city in the Philippines. He also welcomed the Embassy’s plan to appoint a Philippine Honorary Consul in Porto to help the Embassy in its economic and cultural promotion activities and to attend to Filipino seafarers working on ships that regularly dock in Porto throughout the year.
Ambassador Lhuillier was invited by Councilor Araújo to visit Porto again so he could meet with the Mayor and other members of the Council so they could learn more about the Philippines and further discuss possible areas of collaboration and engagement in pursuit of common economic interests.
Press release and photo courtesy of the Department of Foreign Affairs, 01 April 2014.