India, Portugal to discuss strengthening of trade ties

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New Delhi, Jul 05 (UNI) Portuguese Foreign Minister Dr Luis Amado will arrive here on Monday for discussions with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on regional and international situation and on strengthening trade and economic ties.

Dr Amado, who will be in India on a three-day visit, will also travel to Goa, a former Portuguese colony, and meet the state Chief Minister. He will also attend an interactive session at the Goa Chamber of Commerce.

The Foreign Minister would be accompanied by a large business delegation and officials and attend a business meeting at the FICCI.

The focus of the visit will be trade and business relations, officials said.

Portugal, a member of the European Union, can be a platform for India's trade with the EU which is currently India's main trading partner.

India has also sought Portugal's support to a Free Trade Agreement with the EU.

''The visit continues the high-level engagement between the two countries and provides an opportunity for discussion on issues of mutual interest,'' a spokesman of the External Affairs Ministry said here today.

The two countries signed an Extradition Treaty in January last year during the visit to India by Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva.

The Portuguese President had, during his visit, called for reinforcing of trade ties with India in the light of the ''excellent political relations between the two countries.'' UNI RB GT CS1825

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