"The sky is the limit, but the main way we invest is through supporting the Irish agencies that are operating in Portugal and throughout the Iberian Peninsula", said Neale Richmond, in an interview with Lusa agency.

He added that the ministry has "a considerable budget to support Irish companies looking to work in Portugal and export to Portugal".

"Our budget is tens of millions of euros focused not only on Portugal, but on the entire Iberian Peninsula and continental Europe", which is a "considerable amount, but it is an investment that brings a very serious economic and social return ".

The interests, he added, pass mainly through the sectors of technology linked to solar and wind energy, as well as cork, but also tourism.

And it’s not only as tourists, since the objective is also to focus on student exchanges, he said.

"There will be more Irish students coming to study at Portuguese universities and more Portuguese students going to study at Irish universities", he said, adding that "there will also be more Irish and Portuguese universities working together to obtain European research grants".

Brexit effect

Ireland, underlined Neale Richmond, wants to bet on Portugal and other countries in continental Europe to make its economy grow after the 'Brexit' changed relations in the European Union.

"After 'Brexit' [the departure of the United Kingdom from the European bloc], the greatest growth for Ireland is in continental Europe", he said.

"Irish companies that have gone international have a really specific interest in the Portuguese market", he added, arguing that the objective is to make the exchange of skills, talents and knowledge allow the growth of the Irish and Portuguese economies.

According to the minister, Ireland exported more than 2 billion euros in goods and services to Portugal last year alone, with the value of imports being just a little lower.