"Portugal is trying to work on the trade ties with India and especially Goa to make up for the existing trade deficit," Portugal Ambassador Jorge Roza de Oliveira told PTI. He clarified that when he talks of trade deficit, he is pointing towards Portugal and not India.
The trade between India and Portugal is expected to be around 500 million Euros, bulk of which is accounted for by exports from India.
"We have excellent relationship with India, we have history and culture. But there is not much trade and investment happening," he added. He believes Portugal's expertise in the fields of infrastructure, water and waste management and alternate energy can be shared with India.
"The trade should be above the normal things like I sell and you buy. We can come with the projects due to which social conditions are benefited. These are areas which tend to benefit everyone," he commented.
Oliveira has already started discussion with the forums like Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) on this front. Portugal has good trade ties with its former colonies such as Brazil and Angola and is now looking at better ties with Goa in the form of trade and commerce.
Portugal has trade presence in places such as Delhi, Haryana, UP, Gujarat, Hyderabad, Karnataka and Kerala in sectors like cement, electric transformers, equipment for petrol stations, health, textile and shoe components while in Goa, it intends to trade in wine and olive oil.
"The Five Star hotels in Goa have wine from all over the world but not from Portugal, although tourism in the state benefits from symbol of Portugal and its history," he added. Goa was ruled by Portuguese for almost 450 years, till it was liberated by Indian Army in 1961.