Portugal maintains diplomatic relations with the 35 countries of the American continent, through a network of 12 Embassies. In addition to the three Embassies in the three countries of North America (Ottawa, Washington DC and Mexico City), Portugal has a Embassy in the Caribbean (Havana), an Embassy in Central America (Panama City) and seven Embassies in South America (Caracas, Bogotá, Lima, Brasilia, Santiago, Montevideo and Buenos Aires).
The very significant dimension of the Portuguese community in the Americas explains the existence of a vast consular network. In addition to a wide network of honorary consulates, 14 Consuls General and Consuls reinforce the presence of Portugal in the four countries where there is a greater concentration of Portuguese and Portuguese descendants: Brazil (Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and São Paulo); Canada (Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver); USA (Boston, Newark, New Bedford, New York and San Francisco); and Venezuela (Caracas and Valencia).
The American continent brings together three permanent priorities of the Portuguese foreign policy: the particular relationship with the Portuguese-speaking countries; the strong transatlantic relationship with the United States and Canada; and the close ties that unite us within the Ibero-American space. In this context, the relations with Brazil and the USA are particularly relevant.
Portugal was one of the first European states to recognize the independence of the United States and, since then, the two countries built a relationship of partnership and friendship that lasts to this day, marked by the commitment to common defence within the Atlantic Alliance. The strong ties between the two countries are also reflected in the good integration of the Portuguese-American community, estimated at more than one million and three hundred thousand people. The 1995 Cooperation and Defence Agreement (CDA) is the cornerstone of bilateral relations with the United States. The US military presence in the Lajes Air Base remains at its heart, but the CDA's instruments cover the whole of the relations between the two countries, in a wide range of areas that have been expanding and adapting to the current ambitions and challenges.
The relationship between Portugal and Brazil is unique thanks to our deep historical and cultural affinities, first of all due to our common linguistic heritage, but also due to the large number of Portuguese and Portuguese descendants who live there and, more recently, to the relevant size of the Brazilian community in Portugal. Its economic dimension - one of the ten largest economies in the world - makes Brazil one of the most important countries for the internationalization of Portuguese companies, but the volume of trade and reciprocal investments, while significant, still has great potential for further growth. The relationship between Portugal and Brazil is framed by the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Consultation (signed in 2000 in Porto Seguro), which established the Annual Summits chaired by the two Chiefs Executive and created a Permanent Portuguese-Brazilian Commission, which works to further deepen the bilateral relations in a variety of sectors.
The Ibero-American Summit (IAS) is a privileged space of political and diplomatic cooperation and coordination, bringing together 22 countries from the Iberian Peninsula and the American continent, united by a common heritage symbolized by the Portuguese and Spanish languages. Portugal has been committed to this project since its creation, in 1991, in Guadalajara (Mexico), and has never failed to attach a special significance to the IAS, being traditionally represented at the Summits of Heads of State and Government at the highest level (President of the Republic, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs). This organization is particularly relevant as a tool to strengthen the relations with the Latin American countries and its more than 600 million citizens, based on common values, cultural and linguistic affinities and mutual economic interests.
Portugal is also monitoring the work of other regional American organization, playing the role of Observer in some of them, such as the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Pacific Alliance (PA).
Within the EU, Portugal has been one of the Member States most involved in ensuring that the transatlantic relations and the Latin-American region are kept as priorities of the European Union's foreign policy, supporting the creation and strengthening of relations with several States and groups of countries, through various instruments and mechanisms - the EU-Canada CETA, the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement, Summits and Agreement Establishing the EU-CELAC Foundation, the Strategic Partnership with Brazil, the EU-MERCOSUR Association Agreement, the modernization of trade agreements, etc., plus the strong commitment to the negotiations of the TTIP.
The most important Portuguese companies are currently present in Latin America, in areas as different as construction, public works and infrastructure, finance, tourism, energy, water resources management, agriculture, retail trade, pharmaceutical industry, or the new ICTs, among others.
Portugal is also making a relevant investment in the promotion of the Portuguese Language, with a network under the supervision of the Camões, I.P. institute, which involves multiple higher education institutions, covering hundreds of teachers and thousands of students spread throughout the American continent.