Continuing his mission to promote the Philippines to his host country, Philippine Ambassador to Portugal Philippe Lhuillier visited the northern city of Braga to establish contacts with local officials in various key cities and localities in Portugal, and to discuss with them possible areas of engagement and cooperation in line with the embassy’s economic and cultural diplomacy work plan.
During his visit to Braga, Ambassador Lhuillier met with City Mayor Ricardo Rio and Carlos Oliveira, president of Invest Braga, the economic agency of the city that aims to foster economic development of the region and attract foreign investment.
“I am grateful for Mayor Rio’s warm accommodation to our delegation, and we are looking forward to partnering with their city. Braga’s advanced science and information technology centres will complement the Philippines’ strengthening economy and information technology industry. It will also be advantageous for them to enter the Asean [Association of the Southeast Asian Nations] region at this stage, with the upcoming launch of the Asean Economic Community next year,” said Lhuillier.
Braga is the third largest city in Portugal—after Lisbon and Porto—making it a key commercial center of Portugal. The major industries in the city are construction, metallurgy and mechanics, software development, and web design.
Also, information technology is a rapidly growing industry in Braga and this is where Ambassador Lhuillier believes the city and the Philippines can pursue mutually beneficial business opportunities.
In addition to the thriving technology sector in Braga, the city is also host to the Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, a fully international research organization in Europe state-of the art research environment promoting an interdisciplinary effort in addressing the major challenges in the emerging areas of Nanobiotechnology, Nanoelectronics, Nanomedicine, and Materials Science at Nanoscale.
Ambassador Lhuillier also visited the city’s University of Minho. Lhuillier was given a tour of the institution, and discussed the possibility of developing ties with Philippine universities and academic institutions.
“I was particularly interested with the University’s e-learning program, which focuses on specialized, short courses that can be credited in the European educational system. These e-learning programs can be modified to suit the needs of an institution or agency. These programs will be very useful in the Philippines, allowing the government to easily provide quality education to more Filipinos,” commented Lhuillier.
Earlier this year, Ambassador Lhuillier visited the cities of Coimbra in central Portugal, Funchal in the Autonomous Region of Madeira and Porto.