The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, considered today that the commercial relationship between Portugal and Belgium has “a brutal leap” and said he expects more agreements between businessmen from both countries.
The head of state took over this position during a Luso-Belgian Business Seminar at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, where King Philippe of Belgium also participated and reiterated it on his way out in remarks to reporters.
“The Portuguese do not know that Belgium has suddenly become a major partner of Portugal, while other partners have declined in importance, Belgium has increased. fifth “said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
According to the President of the Republic, “this is a brutal jump because they are small and medium-sized companies that are not often known, but they are fundamental”, and it is expected that more “business agreements” will emerge from this forum.
In his opinion, “it is very discreet, nobody talks about it, it is spoken in other countries, it is not spoken in Belgium, but it is very important for our economy”.
In his speech at the seminar, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa argued that the business relationship between Portugal and Belgium was improved thanks to the companies and the Portuguese and Belgian communities in both countries, “it was not with governments’ decisions” and he left a call: “No wait for political power. ”
“Please go ahead, sign agreements, decide, act, just as the European Union should act on the UK, any agreement is better than no agreement, of course, if the main issues are answered and very well answered”, he added.
In a speech in English, the head of state said that “today the Kingdom of Belgium is the ninth largest customer” of Portuguese exports and “seventh largest supplier” of Portugal.
“There is enormous potential to strengthen our relationship and balance the trade balance, for example, speaking from the Portuguese point of view, accentuating Portuguese exports of machinery, chemicals, fuel, food, wine, medicines, footwear. point of view, banking, services, investment, mobility, energy, “he said.