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EU's Portugal opens doors to Pinoy investors

In a quest to rediscover its Philippines ties, Portugal is opening its doors to Filipino investors as gateway to the European Union. 
"Portugal can be entry point of Filipino investors to European Union countries," Philippine Ambassador to Portugal Philippe Lhuillier told reporters in a roundtable discussion on Wednesday.
"Portugal is giving a lot of incentives to investors," noted Sabrosa City Mayor Jose Manuel de Carvalho Marques in the same event.
Sabrosa, a city in Portugal, is the birthplace of navigator Ferdinand Magellan, a prominent personality in Philippine history.  

Lhuillier pointed that compared with other EU countries rent Lisbon is lower. 

Investment opportunities
So far, two Filipino investors have invested in Lisbon, a clothing company and another involved in the shipping industry, Lhuillier said. He did not reveal the names of the companies.
The Philippine embassy assisted three other Filipino companies that were exploring investment opportunities in the areas of IT, infrastructure and manufacturing in Portugal.
"For Filipino companies, Portugal is not only an entry point or gateway into the EU, it is also a gateway to the Community of Portuguese Language Countries which has among its members growing economies such as Brazil, Mozambique and Angola.
"Portugal has very close political and economic ties with those countries," the Philippine embassy said in a separate statement. 
Portugal, Manila's 65th trading partner in terms of value, is eying to export octopus and dried mangoes from the Philippines.

Trade figures
In 2013, total trade between the two countries reached $23.67 million or P1.041 billion, up 12 percent from total trade in 2012 which amounted to $21.13 million or P930 million.
Government data showed that in the five year to 2013, total trade increased 23.46 percent on average.
Some 2,500 Filipinos are live and work in Portugal. 
To foster relationships between two countries, Marques said the Portugal Embassy in the Philippines may be operational again next year after shutting down about five years ago.
Sister cities
Marques and other Portugal officials were in the Philippines since last week to visit Cebu in their pursuit of partnerships in culture, trade, tourism and education.
Last year, the cities of Cebu City and Sabrosa forged a Sister-City agreement. 
The cities belong to the Network of Magellan Cities, composed of places encountered by Magellan in his circumnavigation of the world some 500 years ago.
The navigator died in the hands of Lapu-Lapu in the Battle of Mactan, Cebu on April 27, 1521. – VS, GMA News