India, Portugal sign 11 MoUs across various fields

| Updated: Jun 25, 2017 07:11 IST

Lisbon [Portugal], June 25 (ANI): India and Portugal have signed eleven MOUs for cooperation in areas including double taxation avoidance, science and technology, trade and investment, nanotechnology, space research, administrative reforms and culture. "11 MoU's were exchanged out of which seven and there was announcement of launch of a joint science fund for which both India and Portugal will contribute Euros two million each. 5 of the MoU's were in the area of science and technology," said a Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official. The official added, "There is progress in discussions between IIT Roorkee, Gandhinagar and Madras with their Portuguese counterparts to take science and technology related activities forward. 15 projects were approved during the joint committee meeting for science and technology." One of the MoU's was signed for creation of an India Portugal Space Alliance and for advancing collaborative research. These agreements will promote India's science and technology partnership with Portugal, towards the establishment of a unique Centre on the Azores Archipelago - the Atlantic International Research Centre. This Centre will act as a research, innovation and knowledge hub for trans-atlantic and north-south cooperation. An international network of research and academic organizations will be created. The goal is to provide a shared environment to support research and foster new climate, earth, space and marine research. With respect to space, cooperation is expected to include development and cooperation of next generation nano and micro satellites. On marine sciences, the project would enable India to study the atmospheric and ocean behaviour of the Atlantic and its linkages with weather patterns including the Monsoon. The official said that Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa cited five major pillars of bilateral cooperation on which the relationship is resting between the two nation. "These are, tradition, trade, technology, tourism and terrorism - these can guide the two nations in their relationship forward." Earlier in a joint statement Prime Minister Modi said that economic ties between the two nations continue to follow an upward trajectory. Bilateral trade has grown 17 percent last year and the foreign direct investment from Portugal to India, though small, has doubled during 2016-17. The two leaders on Saturday also launched a unique startup Portal - the India-Portugal International StartUp Hub (IPISH) - aimed at providing information on start-up hotspots in the two countries and associated policies. The platform initiated by Startup India and supported by Commerce & Industry Ministry and Startup Portugal to create a mutually supportive entrepreneurial partnership. IPISH hosts a range of tools and will provide information on the start-up hotspots of Bangalore, Delhi and Lisbon and on associated subjects, such as policy, taxation, and visa options. It will develop a Go-To-Market Guide to support start-ups. (ANI)