The Kurdistan Regional Government’s Representative to Spain, Mr Daban Shadala, made his first visit to Portugal, where he held meetings with officials and private sector representatives. The objective of the visit was to meet with various Portuguese government and private sector entities, to determine points of interest for future cooperation in the areas of education, culture, politics and business.
Mr Shadala met with the Chief of Staff for the Secretary of State for Higher Education, Mr Joao Atanásio, to discuss educational projects, the current state of the education system in Kurdistan, and potential areas of cooperation with Portugal. He also met with the Deputy Secretary of State for Culture, Ms Teresa Albuquerque, to discuss the possibilities of cultural exchange between Portugal and Kurdistan, through possible exchanges of folk music and dance groups, artists and the organization of exhibitions.
On the political front Mr Shadala met with senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal. Both sides discussed the current political and economic situation of the Kurdistan region and of Portugal. Mr Shadala briefed them about the political and economic developments in the Kurdistan Region, as well as promoting business opportunities currently offered by the Kurdistan due to its continuous economic growth.
Mr Joseph Cesario, Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities at the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said during the meeting, "I have visited Erbil in 1989 and would relish the chance to visit Erbil again.” He went on to add that he is “very interested in the Kurdistan Region and willing to see parliamentary level relations being built up between Portugal and the Kurdistan Region.
Mr Shadala also held meetings with officials from the finance and banking sectors as well as with the Executive Manager of AICEP Portugal Global, Mr Jose Vital Morgado, to discuss ways of establishing financial and economic cooperation between the Kurdistan Region and Portugal. AICEP Portugal Global is a government entity that promotes Portugal abroad and supports Portuguese companies in their externalization process.
Commenting on the visit, Mr Shadala said, “The visit was very positive and I believe there is a lot of room for both sides to work together to advance mutual relations. I believe that it is important to meet with the Portuguese officials and we hope to continue this newly founded dialogue between the KRG and Portugal.