Portugal wants to attract “more American investment” and make the country “better known” in the USA. So said State Minister Eduardo Cabrita during a 30-minute speech at an annual conference organised by the Portuguese-American Development Foundation (FLAD).
“The United States are today our fifth largest commercial partner and the biggest outside of the European Union – and we want to strengthen these relations in the financial, tourism and real estate sectors as well as our historic ties in terms of security and defence,” he said.
As Lusa news agency points out, “Cabrita did not discuss the future of the Lajes base in the Azores” though he did mention the “existence of scientific projects in the pipeline for the island of Terceira”.
The minister also highlighted recent American investments in Portugal’s insurance sector – US fund Apollo has taken over two insurance companies (Tranquilidade and Açoreana) since 2014 – and praised the deal that looks likely to see American equity firm Lone Star take over 75% of Novo Banco.
He also revealed that grandchildren of Portuguese citizens who were born in the USA are now able to request Portuguese citizenship.
Saying that 2016 was a “very good year for Portugal”, Cabrita added that “the economy is growing, our deficit is dropping to 1.5% this year and Portugal is enjoying social peace to which our President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has contributed”.