UK Trade & Investment in Portugal organised a successful business conference in London on 26 February to encourage partnerships between British and Portuguese companies, with a view to accessing Portuguese speaking markets in Africa. The event called “Partnerships with Portuguese companies as an Express Route to Market in Africa”, was held at the City of London offices of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The UK Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds, and the Portuguese Economy Minister, Álvaro Santos Pereira, were the key note speakers, having highlighted the important role of Portugal as a Platform to do business in Angola and Mozambique. Portugal has a profound knowledge of these countries in view of its longstanding historic relationship with the Lusophone world; while the expertise of British companies can add significant value to Portugal’s business approach to these markets.
The event was attended by over 200 participants eager to get an inside track to Portuguese speaking African countries from members of the Portuguese, Angolan and Mozambican Governments. UK SMEs from various sectors, many operating in specialist niches, heard of the vast business opportunities in these high-growth markets and how partnering up could offer an alternative route to market. 15 Portuguese companies, with an established presence of over 50 years in both Angola and Mozambique, also attended the event. The main areas with potential for co-operation include energy, education, telecommunications, infrastructure and finance; and more, considering that many Portuguese companies are playing a significant role in some of the largest infrastructure projects in both Angola and Mozambique.
There will be a follow-up event on 8 May in Lisbon, covering the Brazilian market as well and which Lord Green will attend. The focus will be on the very same key sectors of infrastructure, energy and education.