Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Portugal, the first bilateral visit by any Indian PM to the country, saw him and his counterpart, Antonio Costa, launching a unique startup portal called the India-Portugal International StartUp Hub in Lisbon.
The portal is expected to tap into the strong complementarities between India and Portugal in the startup sector. The meeting also saw the two leaders discussing a host of international issues, including terrorism, with Modi calling for intensifying efforts to defeat the scourge.
Costa, who is of Indian origin, sprang a surprise on Modi by hosting a special Gujarati lunch for him. IPISH is a platform initiated by Startup India and supported by the commerce and industry ministry and Startup Portugal to create a “mutually supportive entrepreneurial partnership“.
IPISH is expected to help in mutual capacity-building, and enable connections between startups, investors, and incubators from relevant sectors. It is also expected to establish a network of honorary ambassadors based in India and Portugal to guide startups from both countries.
Portugal has one of the highest rates of business creation in Europe and has emerged as one of the most vibrant European ecosystems for entrepreneurship. Lisbon has been hosting the Web Summit -a key annual international technology conference -since 2016. The last Web Summit had 700 participants from India, and the number is expected to go up this year. The governments of both India and Portugal are focusing on promoting startups.
Earlier in the day, Modi and Costa took a stroll around the Palacio das Necessidades, a historic building in the Largo do Rilvas, a public square in Lisbon. Costa had visited India in January, when he went to see his family members at his ancestral house in Goa.