New Portugese Ambassador presents credentials to the Head of State

The Portugese Ambassador H.E. Mr. Paulo Cunha Alves takes his kava cup during the welcome at His Highness the Head of State’s residence this afternoon

BY Tulifau Auva’a

APIA: THURSDAY 04 DECEMBER 2014: The new ambassador of Portugal to Samoa, H.E. Mr. Paulo Cunha Alves presented his credentials to His Highness the Head of State, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi.

The envoy was welcomed in a kava ceremony this afternoon at the Head of State’s residence at Tuaefu.

Mr. Paulo Cunha Alves said “the physical distance separating Samoa and Portugal is enormous, I can see some connection points between them, for example, both our countries are tourism destinations of excellence, give our natural conditions.”

“The smiles that both the Samoans and the Portuguese like to welcome their guest with are famous all over the world, as another linkage point. I’m also thinking of the energy sector, where both Portuguese and Samoans have demonstrated capacity in the field of renewable energies; several members of the Portuguese governments have visited the South Pacific region and in that context the Secretary of State for energy was in Auckland last year at the Pacific energy summit. More recently, the Portugal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation visited Samoa where he participated at the SIDS conference.”

His Highness the Head of State, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, said “The vast distance that separates our two nations does very little to undermine the special relationship that our two countries enjoy with the many areas of similarities.

“Indeed tourism is very much one of the priority sectors for Samoa, it provides income and revenue for our people and also a chance for tourism and visiting friends alike to immerse themselves in the Samoan culture”.

His Highness also stated that Samoa tries her best to improve the quality of life of her people through the development of various sectors, renewable energy is one of these sectors, although Samoa has demonstrated a keen interest and capacity in the renewable energies sector however, there is much left to learn before Samoa is able to enjoy the benefits of renewable energies at its fullest.”

The Head of State also acknowledged and thanked the government of the republic of Portugal for the kind invitation extended to Samoa to attend the “Blue Week” conference as the sea will always be an integral part of Samoa not only economically but as part of its identity, culture and livelihood.

Mr. Alves is currently Portugal’s ambassador to Australia. He graduated from the University of Lisbon with a degree in International relations.