Bilateral Profiles and National Agencies > Portugal

General information on Portugal development cooperation

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is responsible for setting Portugal’s development cooperation policies.

Development cooperation is an important area of Portugal’s external policy. It focuses on values and principles such as peace and solidarity, democracy and the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, the Portuguese language, environmental conservation, among others. Portugal’s Development Cooperation Strategy entitled “A Strategic Vision for Portuguese Cooperation”, approved by the Council of Ministers in 2005, is currently under review. The Strategic Vision sets out guiding principles and priorities for Portuguese development cooperation, by drawing on Portugal’s experiences, foreign policy priorities and international obligations. It emphasizes the commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), human security sustainable economic development, contributing to international development discussions. Portuguese development cooperation has a strong geographic focus on the Portuguese-speaking African countries (“the PALOP”) and East Timor in South East Asia.

As a result of ongoing Public Administration reforms aimed at increasing its efficiency and effectiveness, a new institute, Camoes - The Cooperation and Language Institute (CICL) was created in 2012, as a result of the merger of the former Portuguese Institute for Development Assistance (IPAD) and Camoes Institute (ICA) for Language and Culture. CICL is part of the Foreign Ministry and is responsible for the supervision, direction and coordination of development cooperation policy and activities. It is also responsible for implementing the development cooperation policy and promoting the Portuguese language and culture abroad. The Portuguese Cooperation System involves multiple actors, including line ministries, municipal authorities, universities and other public institutions.

As established in the Strategic framework mentioned above, Portuguese development Cooperation aims to contribute to:

  • The attainment of the Millennium Development Goals
  • The Reinforcement of Human Security
  • The promotion of Sustainable Economic Development
  • The international Debate on Development

Aid for Trade (AfT) Strategy

Portugal’s AfT activities are part of its overall development cooperation strategy and are in line with the EU 2007 Aid for Trade Strategy. In line with its overall development cooperation priorities, Portugal’s AfT activities focus mostly on economic infrastructure, productive capacity, as well as institutional and business-related capacity building. In terms of geographical focus, Portuguese development cooperation, including AfT activities, targets mostly Africa Portuguese Speaking Countries (i.e. Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe (“the PALOPs”) and East Timor.

In line with its overall poverty reduction objectives, Portugal’s development cooperation interventions in the area of private sector development are focused on supporting SMEs and improving the business environment.

Although Portugal’s development cooperation interventions are mostly bilateral, it also supports AfT via multilateral organizations, such as UNCTAD (€ 26,326 in 2009), UNIDO (€ 1 million 2010/2011), WTO (€ 2.1 million 2009/2012) and the international finance institutions (e.g. €30 milliom to the World bank/IDA in 2010/2011). In addition, Portugal, as EU Member State, contributes to EIB and European Commission initiatives, such as the EU-Africa Trust Fund for Infrastructure, which support developing countries, in particular ACP countries.

Based on its Aid for Trade CRS (Creditor Reporting System – OECD) report, some of the key areas of intervention in AfT are:

  • Rural agricultural development
  • Trade/Economic infrastructure
  • Mineral resources and mining
  • Industry

The information provided below on Portugal’s support to AfT under these categories is not exhaustive.

Official agency involved in TCB

Principal official agency responsible for TCB assistance to developing countries


Camoes – Cooperation and Language Institute (CICL)

Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Av. Da Liberdade, nº 270 / Rua Rodrigues Sampaio, nº 113

1250-149 Lisbon-Portugal

Tel: +351 21 310 9100

Fax: +351 21 310 9183 (DPC / DAM)



Camões – Cooperation and Language Institute (CICL) is responsible for: i) proposing and implementing the Portuguese development cooperation policy and coordinating all development cooperation activities undertaken by other official entities, which also participate in the implementation of development cooperation projects/programs; ii) proposing and implementing the policy on education and dissemination of Portuguese language and culture abroad.

Other government and official agencies with responsibilities directly relevant to TCB


Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Palácio das Necessidades

Largo do Rilvas, P-1399-030 Lisboa Codex

Tel: +351 21394 6000



The Ministry of Foreign Affairs implements foreign policy, development cooperation policy and the policy for connecting Portugal to the Portuguese communities around the world. It is also responsible for coordinating the other ministries’ external actions.


Office for Strategic Planning, Evaluation and International Relations (GPEARI)

Ministry of Finance

Av. Infante D. Henrique, nº 1C – 1º

1100-278 Lisboa

Tel: + 351 21 882 3390/91/96



Office for Strategic Planning, Evaluation and International Relations (GPEARI)’s mission is to ensure support for policy formulation and strategic and operational planning, in conjunction with the financial programming, ensure, directly or under its coordination, international relations, monitor and evaluate the implementation of policies, planning tools and results of the organizational systems and management in conjunction with other services of the Ministry of Finance.


Directorate General for Economic Activity (DGAE)

Ministry of Economy and Employment

Av. Visconde de Valebon, 72

1069-041 Lisboa

Tel: + 351 21 796 5158



Directorate General for Economic Activity (DGAE)’s mission is the promotion and development of an institutional environment more conducive to competitiveness, business innovation and regional development through support for the conception, implementation, dissemination and evaluation of policies for industrial, trade, tourism and services, ensuring coordination of international relations in the sphere of activity of the Ministry of Economy and Employment (MEE). DGAE contributes to the formulation and implementation of policies that frame the external economic relations, in conjunction with the agencies and departments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other agencies and public authorities in the matter;

Other official or government trade-related organization



Av. Casal Ribeiro, n. 14 - 4 1000-092 Lisboa Portugal

Tel.: +351 21 313 77 60

Fax: +351 21 313 77 79

Portuguese Development Finance Institution (SOFID): SOFID was created in December 2007 as a limited liability company. With a total capital of € 10 million, SOFID main shareholders are the Portuguese state (60%) and the four largest Portuguese commercial banks (10% each). Its mission is: (i) to contribute to sustainable development of the business sector in developing countries; and (ii) to support Portuguese companies and their partners investing in developing countries, acting in coordination with the Government’s economy, cooperation and ODA strategies. Providing long term financing for investment projects (loans, guarantees and equity), SOFID has approved projects in several Portuguese-speaking countries, in Latin America, in South Africa and in Northern Africa. It co-operates extensively with the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, acting as a financier in several European trust funds (ITF, NIF, LAIF). It is a member of the European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI) and has privileged relationships with other bilateral DFI (e.g. BNDES, OPIC) and multilateral DFI (e.g. IFC, AfDB, IDB, EBRD). SOFID also operates on behalf of the state as fund manager of an investment fund of €94 million for Mozambique. For more information: or

Contact :

AICEP Portugal Global - Trade & Investment Agency

Lisboa Porto

Av. 5 de Outubro, 101

1050-051 Lisbon, Portugal

Tel.: + 351 217 909 500


AICEP Portugal Global - Trade & Investment Agency is a government entity - part of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs - focused in promoting foreign investment in Portugal and in supporting the internationalization process or export activities of Portuguese companies. Playing a central role in the implementation of public policies geared to promote internationalization and the image of Portugal abroad, AICEP has a network of 40 overseas offices. With the diversification of export markets as a key goal, the Agency actively promotes and provides support to the involvement of national SME’s in emerging markets, enabling them to bring new products or services or to invest in the generation of local added value, therefore complementing the cooperation policy.

For more information: E-mail: or

Non-governmental organizations involved in TCB


Instituto Marquês de Valle Flor

Rua de São Nicolau,

105 1100-548 Lisboa


Tel: + 351 213 256 300

Fax: + 351 213 471 904



The IMVF - Marquis of Valle Flor Institute is a Non Governmental Organization for Development (NGO) that believes in the concerted effort of millions of people around the world seek to promote development along the neediest populations. Most of the intervention is focused on Portuguese-speaking countries and assume the mission of promoting socio-economic development and cultural. The IMVF operates throughout the CPLP, the main work areas Cooperation and Development Education, is innovative in Decentralised Cooperation with municipalities and occasionally receives requests to intervene in humanitarian aid in countries where it operates continuously.


Fundação Aga Khan

Portugal Rua de São Domingos à Lapa, 58,

1200-836 Lisbon,


Tel.: +351 21 394 91 10

Fax: +351 21 394 91 19


The Aga Khan Network for Development (Aga Khan Development Network - AKDN)

Rua de São Domingos à Lapa, 58,

1200-836 Lisbon,

Portugal Tel.: +351 21 394 91 10

Fax: +351 21 394 91 18


The Aga Khan Network for Development (Aga Khan Development Network - AKDN) is a group of private, international, non-denominational, operating to improve living conditions and access to opportunities for populations in some of the poorest regions the developing world. The AKDN organizations have individual mandates that range from the fields of health and education to architecture, rural development and the promotion of entrepreneurship in the private sector. Together, they collaborate in working towards a common goal - building institutions and programs that can respond with continuity, the challenges arising from social, cultural and economic.


CIDAC – Non-Governmental Organization for Development Cooperation

Núcleo de Cooperação para o Desenvolvimento (Centre for Development Cooperation)

Morada: Rua Pinheiro Chagas, 77 - 1º Dto 1069-069 LISBOA


Telefone: 00351 21 828 80 76

The central pillar of CIDAC is Cooperation for Development and Education for Development. CIDAC identified four priority themes engages primarily significant: Trade and Development, Migration and Development, Development Cooperation and Education for Development. The strengthening of civil society organizations remains a cross-cutting objective.

A recent example is a project co-funded by the European Commission, which aims at conducting a background investigation, in Guinea-Bissau and in Europe, which may contribute to establishing sustainable business relationship under the principles of Fairtrade, with a view to combating poverty and promoting best practices for social and environmental levels.

TCB cooperation initiatives with UN/International agencies and bilateral partners

As mentioned above, Portugal has been supporting AfT via multilateral organizations, such as UNCTAD, UNIDO, WTO (€ 2.1 million 2009/2012) and the international financial institutions, aside from the EU. Part of the support provided to these institutions is used for TCB.

For example, Portugal has been supporting UNIDO’s activity in African Portuguese Speaking Countries. A contribution of Portugal to UNIDO, in the amount of € 1 million, is helping to set up One Stop Shops in the districts of Lumbo and Mossuril in Mozambique and to promote entrepreneurship technical training. This intervention in the Mozambique Island and Moussuril District aims to boost economic activity and foster private sector development and business-related opportunities.

Selected TCB programmes and initiatives in this guide


  • Support to Consumer Protection Agencies/Institutes


  • Support to partner countries’ legal frameworks


  • Development Cluster in East Timor
  • Rural Extension Project (2004/2013)
  • Rural Development Project in East Timor
  • Rural Development Program in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique
  • Strengthening the institutional and technical capacity of Angola’s Agronomic Research Institute (IIA)
  • Strengthening the production and commercial capacity of Coopcunha in the Municipal District of Ecunha in Angola
  • Sustainable Management of Natural Forest Resources in Angola
  • Integrated Private Sector Community Development Project in Guinea Bissau
  • Support to the intensification of food production in Guinea Bissau’s Bafata region (PAIPA)
  • Agricultural development project in Guinea Bissau
  • Promoting food security and environmental conservation in the eastern region of Guinea Bissau
  • Increasing the knowledge base and research capacity on extractive natural resources - Angola
  • Cooperation activities in the area of geology and mining in Mozambique


  • Institutional capacity building project - all African Portuguese Speaking Countries
  • Strengthening the intervention capacity of Agencies and Institutes responsible for Civil Aviation in Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique
  • Institutional and technical capacity building activities undertaken by the Administração dos Portos do Douro e Leixões (APDL) of Portugal in African Portuguese Speaking Countries
  • Institutional and technical capacity building activities undertaken by the Portuguese Communications’ Company, ANACOM, in all African Portuguese Speaking Countries
  • Human Resources Development Plan in all African Portuguese Speaking Countries


  • Promoting capacity development among civil society organizations - East Timor


  • Programmes on public financial management technical cooperation
  • Institutional and technical capacity building activity undertaken by the Administração do Porto de Lisboa


  • Seminar on Management and Financing for the Road Sector of Mozambique
  • Concessional loans - Cape Verde and Morocco
  • Improvement of trade infrastructure through renewable energy


  • Strengthening the institutional and technical capacity of monetary institutions


  • Promoting entrepreneurship technical training
  • Supporting entrepreneurship courses in secondary school curricula in Angola
  • Financing a Master’s Programme in Mozambique on hydraulics and water resources