The relations between Portugal and Asia are rooted in History. The Portuguese discoverers were the first to create sea routes between Europe and India, and were also the first Europeans to establish contacts with Japan.
Our embassy in Bangkok is one of the oldest diplomatic missions in the world. The transfer of the sovereignty of Macau to China took place in 1999, after 500 years of Portuguese presence, and we can still find traces of the Portuguese cultural influence in Indonesia and Malaysia. Portuguese is the official language of East Timor, which is our partner in the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP).
These historical and cultural links with Asia offer enormous potential for developing bilateral relationships with the countries of the region. Therefore, it is important to translate this mutual understanding into concrete cooperation actions, involving also the private sector and civil society.