As I have traveled throughout the world in recent years, one of the most hopeful developments I have identified is the emergence of countries with the potential to become “Countries of Opportunity.” And certainly Portugal has been earning a high place on that list.
To become a Country of Opportunity is not an easy matter, it is something that the people and the government of a nation must work at, creatively, patiently, and persistently.
A Country of Opportunity is one that builds on the strengths of its past, while also addressing its problems, embracing enduring values while respecting a variety of viewpoints. Countries of Opportunity value legal structures that create a climate of predictability and confidence, an enabling environment for creative change.
A Country of Opportunity is one that encourages cooperation among diverse interests, fostering partnerships between government and the private sector, for example, while also encouraging those private organisations that are designed to serve public goals, what we often call the institutions of civil society.
It is because of such factors that we can think today of Portugal as a Country of Opportunity, a Country that seeks to honour both its past achievements and its future opportunities, to embrace both the gift of social stability and the promise of social progress. And the Portuguese Parliament is to be commended for its role in that encouraging story.
–Address by His Highness the Aga Khan to the Parliament of Portugal, Lisbon, Portugal (10 July 2018)