“I have no doubt whatsoever that Portugal is, at this moment, on the radar and in the centre of attention of American high-tech companies,” the ruler said in an interview.
“All the companies showed a willingness to work and eventually invest in Portugal,” said Bernardo Ivo Cruz. He added: “Some of them are interested in establishing a permanent presence in Portugal to cover the European market from our country”.
The Portuguese Secretary of State had meetings with several companies, including Google, Cloudflare, Five9 and Cruise, as part of a broader objective of attracting foreign investment to Portugal.
“In the technology sector, California companies are interested in working with Portuguese companies and Portugal,” he said, noting that they “are perfectly aware of the Portuguese reality” and the advantages and potential of its economy.
Bernardo Ivo Cruz’s visit to the Silicon Valley region, including San Francisco Bay, Santa Clara and San Jose, also includes meetings with Portuguese entrepreneurs who have opened companies in California or are qualified staff in North American organisations.
The intention, he explained, is to learn from the experience of these entrepreneurs, to understand how the government can be useful to them, how they can help to attract structural investment to Portugal and also to support the internationalisation of Portuguese companies that want to go to California.
“There is great enthusiasm and great friendship between California and Portugal,” the Secretary of State stressed.
Another objective of the visit is related to the internationalisation of university scientific research, following the Portuguese participation in the NAFSA (Association of International Educators) education fair, which took place in Denver until 3 June.
The government invited Portuguese universities to join the visit and facilitated meetings at several US universities, including Stanford, Berkeley, the Catholic University of Santa Clara and California State Universities in Fresno and Santa Barbara.
“In all the meetings the aim was to see what the universities are doing in terms of research, new projects, new methodologies and, on the other hand, to have an open conversation between American and Portuguese universities about the areas in which they can work together”, summarised Bernardo Ivo Cruz.
“Portuguese universities have solutions that are of interest to American universities in terms of methodologies and knowledge and vice-versa,” he said.
Among the topics highlighted were the energy, environmental and digital transitions.
“It is very important that we have the scientific knowledge that universities bring, but also the practical application of that knowledge in companies and organisations, so that we can adapt to these challenges that are common and huge in the best possible way.”
The governor is today taking part in celebrations of Portugal Day with a meeting of the advisory board of the Consulate General of Portugal in San Francisco, a ceremony with the city’s mayor, where the Portuguese flag will be raised, and a reception for the community and friends of Portugal that will take place at the consulate.
The Secretary of State stressed that this “is the first 10 June after the pandemic” and stressed the importance of spending it face-to-face with the Portuguese community on the west coast of the United States, which is “well integrated, very enterprising and very large”.
The visit ends in San José, with community celebrations of Portugal Day taking place on Saturday 11 June, with music, a Portuguese parade and the opening ceremony of a new exhibition at the Portuguese Historical Museum.
Source: Sic, with information from Agência Lusa.