Strengthening Bonds: India-Portugal Relations and the Path Forward

by | Nov 13, 2023

Strengthening Bonds: India-Portugal Relations and the Path Forward

In a recent address to the Indian Community in Portugal, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, along with Foreign Minister of Portugal Joao Cravinho, highlighted the growing ties between India and Portugal. This event underscores the significance of the relationship between the two nations, which has evolved over the years into a multifaceted partnership.

Bilateral Ties and Historical Background:

India and Portugal established diplomatic relations in 1949, marking the beginning of a long and complex journey. The relationship faced challenges when Portugal refused to surrender its enclaves, leading to a diplomatic impasse. However, the turning point came in 1961 with the liberation of Goa, Daman, and Diu by the Indian military forces through Operation Vijay. A significant milestone was achieved in 1974 when India and Portugal signed a treaty recognizing India’s sovereignty over the territories.

The India-Portugal Joint Commission on Economic Matters, instituted in 1977, has played a crucial role in fostering economic cooperation. Over the years, bilateral trade has witnessed substantial growth, reaching USD 937 million in 2017-18, with a trade balance consistently favoring India.

Key Aspects of the Relationship:

  • Diplomatic Support: Portugal has been a steadfast supporter of India’s aspirations for a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council. Both nations actively engage in multilateral forums, endorsing each other’s candidatures.
  • Economic Cooperation: The signing of seven agreements in recent times reflects the commitment to boost cooperation in areas such as maritime transport, port development, audio-visual co-production, and industrial and intellectual property rights. The flourishing economic ties are evident in the robust bilateral trade figures.
  • Cultural and People-to-People Ties: The Indian diaspora in Portugal plays a crucial role in fostering cultural exchanges and strengthening people-to-people ties. These connections contribute to a deeper understanding between the two nations.

Significance and Future Prospects:

The significance of the India-Portugal relationship lies in the mutual respect for sovereignty and the shared commitment to global peace and security. As the two nations continue to collaborate on various fronts, the potential for further growth is immense.

Looking ahead, there is a scope for enhanced cooperation in areas such as renewable energy, technology, and education. The joint commitment to addressing global challenges, including climate change and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, underscores the shared responsibility that India and Portugal recognize in the international arena.


The address by External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar in Portugal reaffirms the strong bonds between the two nations. From a complex historical backdrop to a thriving partnership, the India-Portugal relationship has come a long way. As both countries continue to work together on diplomatic, economic, and cultural fronts, the future looks promising for further strengthening these ties. The collaborative efforts between India and Portugal stand as a testament to the belief that shared values and common goals can foster enduring partnerships on the global stage.

Unravelling the Enforcement Directorate: Navigating the Landscape of Economic Enforcement in India

The recent development of the Enforcement Directorate scheduling an interrogation of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in an excise policy-linked money-laundering case has brought the spotlight back on this crucial investigative agency. Established in 1956 and operating under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is a multi-disciplinary organization tasked with enforcing economic laws and combating economic crimes in India. 


The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is currently engaged in recording the statement of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal concerning a money-laundering case associated with the excise policy. The investigation agency is set to depose Kejriwal in Delhi, marking a significant development in the ongoing probe.

About Enforcement Directorate:

  • Establishment: Founded in 1956.
  • Ministry: Operates under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.
  • Headquarters: Based in New Delhi.
  • Multi-disciplinary Organisation: Tasked with enforcing economic laws, combating economic crime, and specifically focusing on money laundering and foreign exchange irregularities.


The Enforcement Directorate is empowered to enforce several key acts, including the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA), the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA), the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act 1973, and the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 (FEOA). Its role extends to sponsoring organisations under the 1974 Foreign Exchange Conservation and Smuggling Activity Prevention Act.


  • Director of Enforcement: Appointed by the central government based on the recommendation of a committee chaired by the Central Vigilance Commissioner and members comprising Vigilance Commissioners, Home Secretary, Secretary DOPT, and Revenue Secretary. The tenure is up to 5 years.
  • Recruitment of Other Officers: Officers may be recruited directly or indirectly from other investigative agencies, composed of representatives from the police, excise, customs, and income tax departments.

Powers of ED:

  • Admissibility of Statements: Statements recorded before an ED investigation officer are admissible as evidence in court under the PMLA.
  • Nature of Offences: Offences under the PMLA are classified as non-bailable.
  • Custody and Property Attachment: Individuals in ED custody are sent to the nearest police station’s lock-up, and once the ED attaches properties, retrieving those assets can be a challenging process.
  • Burden of Proof: Unlike regular criminal law, the burden of proof lies with the accused, making it harder to deal with ED investigations.

The Enforcement Directorate, with its comprehensive legal framework and extensive powers, plays a pivotal role in maintaining economic order in India. As it continues to address cases of financial misconduct and money laundering, its actions carry significant implications for individuals and entities involved. The ongoing developments surrounding Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal serve as a reminder of the ED’s crucial role in safeguarding the financial integrity of the nation.

Written By Vishakha Khatri

My name is Vishakha Khatri. I am an engineering graduate and a civil service aspirant with a passion for spreading knowledge about Indian polity. I believe that understanding our political system is crucial for every citizen, and I am committed to making this information accessible to everyone in my own easy way. Through my experiences in civil service preparation and my unique perspective as an engineering graduate, I hope to inspire and educate others on the importance of Indian polity.

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