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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: Azores premier to meet officials, local communities in California

Boston, US, Feb. 11 (Lusa) - The head of the Azores regional government, Vasco Cordeiro, is this week in the US, where he is to inaugurate an academic institute and visit emigrant communities in California, combining "institutional" and "affectionate contacts", as he put it.
"We continue at this time our work of giving practical consistency in the field of the political relationship, but also in the economic and affective relationship with this state [California] that has a very big community from the Azores and their descendants," Cordeiro said on Sunday night.
The regional premier was speaking to reporters in Boston, on a stopover between Ponta Delgada and California, where he on Monday starts an official visit that lasts until Friday.
This, he said, is an "opportunity to develop institutional contacts", with the "desire to strengthen the link between the Azores and California", but he also intends to address the "Azores of today" to the emigrants and their descendants in places where the delegation made up of members of the government and regional assembly is to visit.
Cordeiro on Wednesday is at the invitation of the president of California State University, Fresno, to preside over the inauguration of the Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute at which aims to promote Portuguese culture and language, with a special focus on the Azores diaspora.
After the inauguration of the institute, whose director is Diniz Borges, a professor at Fresno State who was born on Terceira island in the Azores, the regional premier is to give the inaugural class on the theme ‘The Azores in the 21st century’ as part of a speakers series initiative that includes a set of lectures by invited speakers by the Institute.
On Monday, on his arrival in California, Vasco Cordeiro is to meet the lieutenant governor of the state, Eleni Kounalakis, and later leaders of the Azorean community of Sacramento. On Tuesday, he is to visit two farms owned by Azorean emigrants, followed by a meeting with the local community at the House of the Azores of Hilmar.
After Wednesday at the institute, a meeting is scheduled for Thursday with the mayor of Artesia, Tony Lima – himself of Portuguese origin – as well as with the Azorean community of the Los Angeles area. There is also session organised by the local Azores Business Development Society (SDEA) on foreign investment opportunities in the archipelago.
On Friday, the last day of the visit, the programme includes a meeting with the mayor of San Diego, Kevin Faulconer, a visit to a memorial in honour of tuna fishermen – an activity in which many Azores emigrants have been active – as a tribute to Azorean emigrants in San Diego, and a meeting with the local community.
According to official data, there are some 345,000 people of Portuguese origin in California, with around 70% originating from the Azores.
On this official trip, Cordeiro will be accompanied by the regional secretary in charge of external relations, Rui Bettencourt, and by Socialist and Social Democrat members of the Azores regional assembly.


Agency : LUSA

Date : 2019-02-12 09:16:28


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