May 18

‘Economic Diplomacy: The Core of New International Affairs’

Speaker : H.E. Paulo Portas, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister of Portugal

May 18, 2016

H.E. Portas spoke about the key role of economic diplomacy in influencing policy decisions of governments and international organisations. The lecture also focused on using digital diplomacy as an instrument for economic diplomacy.

As globalisation transforms international economic relationships, economic diplomacy has a key  role in influencing policy decisions of governments and international organisations, said H.E. Paulo Portas, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Portugal, while giving a lecture on the topic ‘Economic Diplomacy: The Core of New International Affairs’, organised by Emirates Diplomatic Academy on May 19th 2016.

“There are no more local or national markets, there are only international markets, and we have to promote our national interests in the international markets to win,” stated H.E. Portas while describing effect of globalization in international relations.

He said that in order to understand Economic Diplomacy, it is important to aim to be global. “Not everything that is national becomes global, but everything global can become national,” he said.

“Globalisation has changed the very nature of diplomacy, and the UAE has understood this phenomenon. Emirates Diplomatic Academy is a good example of the UAE’s sophisticated approach towards foreign policy, where future diplomats are provided knowledge at the theoretical as well as practical levels,” H.E. Portas said.

He stated further: “The UAE is very young country, hence it has great opportunities to build co-operative relationships with enterprises and other governments.”

On the occasion, H.E. Portas called on embassies to adopt the concept of ‘One Embassy One Team’ by unifying responsibilities, sharing information and acting together to achieve success in economic diplomacy.

“Diplomats should try to be economic experts. We need to have practical and pragmatic agendas while making bilateral agreements with other nations,” he added.

Describing digital diplomacy as an instrument for economic diplomacy, H.E. Portas said: “Digital diplomacy is relevant in this age. It is very important to invest in new ideas to promote investments for the nation. We need to use all the tools available and they include digital media. We can get new ideas right from our local markets that will help us in getting investments from international enterprises.”

The lecture was another major event for EDA which has been hosting a series of lectures by prominent personalities and experts on relevant topics related to diplomacy and international relations.

On the occasion, Bernardino Leon, Director General of EDA, said, “Emirates Diplomatic Academy is focused on providing our students with the knowledge and expertise based on real time experiences related international relations. The lecture by H.E. Paulo Portas on the role of economic diplomacy highlights EDA’s unique model of diplomatic capacity development that equips future diplomats with the right capabilities to meet the requirements of the international economy and the global political arena.”

H.E. Paulo Portas was the Portuguese Deputy Prime Minister from 2013 to 2015. He also served as the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs from 2011 to 2013, and Minister of Defence from 2002 to 2005. As a prominent figure in the Portuguese political scene, he led a number of initiatives on Economic Diplomacy since his tenure as the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. While serving as the Deputy Prime Minister, he travelled around the world promoting Portuguese companies and products, an initiative he started during his tenure as the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

As the leading integrated academic centre in the region, EDA combines academic programmes and training, research and analysis to highlight the UAE’s leading role in international relations. The Academy also conducts in-depth studies on the region and the UAE to build a knowledge base in the field of international relations and diplomacy, and support the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and decision-makers in the UAE.