It is for me a great honor to have been be designated to hold the duties of ambassador of Portugal to Argentina, which I initiated in April 2012.
Both countries are closely bonded by a long standing and meaningful historic relationship. Portugal was the first country to recognize the Províncias Unidas del Rio de la Plata, through a note, sent in April 16th 1821 by King João VI, to the Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Province of Buenos Aires, D. Martin Rodriguez.
Since the end of the nineteenth century, the Portuguese community in Argentina acquired a very relevant dimension.
From mid-twentieth century, Portuguese migration to Argentina grew to attain significant proportions. Today, there are more than twenty Portuguese associations, most of them located in the metropolitan Buenos Aires area and the rest around the country down to Commodoro Rivadavia, the Southernmost based Portuguese community in the world. In the Consular Section of the Embassy of Portugal in Buenos Aires, about twenty thousand Portuguese citizens are now registered.
Portugal and Argentina enjoy excellent bilateral relations, both at a Government and official levels, and at the level of people-to-people exchanges, so important to building an open and forward looking relationship. The two countries are bound together by an extensive network of bilateral agreements, covering diplomatic, economic, cultural, and consular and other areas.
Important Portuguese companies are also present in Argentina, contributing to its development and showing its trust in the future and potential of Argentina.
Jorge Luís Borges, probably the foremost Argentinian writer, constitutes a particularly eloquent symbol of the deep bonds tying both countries. In a poem dedicated to his Portuguese ancestors, Borges wrote: “Nada o muy poco sé de mis mayores Portugueses, los Borges […….]. Son Portugal, son la famosa gente que forzó las murallas del Oriente”. In 2008, Portugal payed homage to Jorge Luís Borges, inaugurating a monument to the great writer, in front of the Chancery of the Argentinian Embassy in Lisbon.
I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to reiterate my commitment to contribute, through my mission, to the further enhancement of the excellent relations between Portugal and Argentina. Moreover, I would also like to reiterate the availability of the Embassy of Portugal in Buenos Aires, the Delegation of the AICEP, the Camões I.P. - Centro de Língua Portuguesa, and the Honorary Consulates of Córdoba, Mendoza, Rosário, and Comodoro Rivadavia, to that end.
Henrique Silveira Borges
Ambassador of Portugal