Camões authored the famous poem in which the verses “Times change, they change according to wills; …Always taking on new qualities”. Canada and Portugal have a long history of the Camões era, but a long history of the Camões era only begins in Portugal, but they only have diplomatic origins in 1952. As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of this important milestone, it is interesting to look at the past and how our official relationship began, also reflecting on its future.
The idea took shape in 1944, when the head of the Canadian Department of Commerce wrote to his counterpart at the Department of Foreign Affairs, suggesting the opening of a commercial representation in the Iberian Peninsula, with the aim of encouraging increased trade with the. The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs quickly gave his support for the opening of a representation in Portugal. A commercial delegate was identified, who spoke Portuguese, at the time stationed in Rio de Janeiro and, 15 months later, Mr. Lester Glass who opened the first Canadian Consulate General in Portugal.
Meanwhile, Portuguese entities were making contacts to encourage Canada to establish formal diplomatic relations. 1 Portugal an exchange of diplomatic missions in early 1947, which Canada lacks, declined, referring to personnel. For its part, Portugal appointed its first consul general in Montreal in October 1947, and continued to develop exercises to establish more formal relations. In September 1951, the Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Paulo Cunha, attended the NATO meeting in Ottawa, where he discussed the matter with the Prime Minister of Canada, Louis St. Laurent. When fishing in the application, the authorities may take into account the importance of Portugal in the Portuguese market for other natural products. Based on these interests, he was now ambassador and appointing the country’s Ambassador to Ireland as head of the Canada Canada Mission, with instructions to remain in the country for four months a year. On December 8, 1951, King George VII, in his capacity as Head of State of Canada, wrote to the President of the Republic of Portugal announcing his decision to accredit to Portugal “our faithful and well-loved William Ferdinand Alphonse Turgeon”, as extraordinary envoy and minister plenipotentiary of Canada in Portugal. A month later, Canada granted the wake up to the appointment of Dr. Luís Esteves Fernandez, Ambassador of Portugal to the United States, for Minister of Portugal to Canada. The legations, as they were then called, were officially opened on January 18, 1952.
Seventy years later, the world has changed significantly and with it the Canada-Portugal relationship. Today we are partners who share the same vision on topics of extreme importance at a global level such as human rights, gender equality, climate change and sustainable ocean management. We stand together in defending the values of democracy and the rule of law. We remain major allies in NATO peace and set out to maintain on multilateral issues such as African maintenance operations.
Trade remains the cornerstone of our bilateral relations, which has been spent annually on goods and millions of dollars in services. Relying on traditional specialists that have created a basis for our commercial relationships, Portugal and Portugal are more committed to developing new partnerships instead of leading edge Canada, such as economic solutions for new carbonization and research through our solutions for trade and research involving hydrogen and renewable energies. We are uniting our respective technology communities and innovation ecosystems in areas such as artificial intelligence, aerospace and cybersecurity. And recognizing the importance of the oceans to both countries, we are leveraging partnerships in scientific, technological and commercial research to sustainably grow our blue economies.
The relationship between Canada and Portugal was boosted by the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union (CETA), an agreement that Portugal was one of the first countries to ratify and which has contributed to pre-pandemic growth (2019) of bilateral exchanges of goods and services 36% since 2016, with bilateral trade exceeding millions of dollars in 2018 and 2019. Investment has also become a central element of our trade relations, a testament to the maturity of our trade relationship and the industry of both markets for our market operations.
Our bilateral relations are also based on the strong ties that exist between our citizens. Although the Portuguese have been part of Canadian history for more than five centuries, significant emigration from Portugal to Canada only began in the 1950s. Today, around 500,000 Canadians have Portuguese ancestry, and roughly half of them. There are also professional musicians from Canadians – nomads, from various areas, from artists, students and retirees in Portugal to their private home, the twenty thousand in the Azores. I am particularly pleased that the new youth mobility agreement between Portugal and Minister António in 2018 has allowed young Canadians to travel to Canada in Portuguese and Canadians and work annually on Costa in the country with others, injecting more dynamism into our already very narrow.
As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated: “confident countries are prepared to invest in the future”. As Canada’s ambassador to Portugal, she believes that continued progress – expanding connections between people and deepening our important economic cooperation – represents the fight against climate change and our advancement in the sphere of international values and interests in our joint success in world of the future. I wish our friendship to continue to prosper!
The author writes according to the new orthographic agreement