Paulo Portas

Deputy Prime Minister of Portugal and Minister of Foreign Affairs (2011–2015). Advocate of economic diplomacy.

In 21st century international relations, who holds your debt is more important than where you could deploy your troops


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Politically incorrect, ironic, pragmatic, charismatic and decisive, Paulo Portas has been a key figure in Portuguese politics since the 1990s and President of the democratic party that has been in office the longest (re-elected 8 times in 16 years). Under his leadership the minority CDS-PP (Social Democratic Center – People’s Party) formed part of the Portuguese government for two terms after obtaining some of its best ever election results.

He was a minister on two occasions, finishing his political career as Deputy Prime Minister (2013 – 2015), a position that was re-created for him. He was responsible for relations with the “troika” representatives in Portugal (the IMF, ECB and EC), who arrived following the financial rescue of the country.

As Minister of Foreign Affairs (2011-2013) he dealt with international relations, including economic diplomacy and geopolitical matters, such as geo-economics. He drove forward the internationalization of Portuguese companies, and worked to boost the percentage of GDP represented by exports from 29% to 43%.

In 2015 he resigned from his parliamentary position and the following year decided not to run for re-election as the head of his party, of which he had been President for two terms (1998 – 2005 and 2007 – 2016). Nevertheless, he has not wanted to withdraw from public life and has not left behind his vocation for public service and his faith in his country’s growth prospects as well as those of the European.

He has reinvented his new career path through various routes: as a strategic consultant in Africa, Latin America and the Persian Gulf; resuming his career as a journalist with a Sunday television program on international politics; taking an MBA in Geopolitics; running public policy training for young CDS leaders; as Vice-president of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, in charge of the chambers overseas; as Vice-president of the international strategic advisory board of the largest Portuguese company, and as a speaker who is an expert on the European Union, relations with Latin America, geopolitics, the global economy, internationalization, exports and accessing new markets.

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