The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is committed to provide Portuguese Language teaching and Portuguese culture diffusion abroad, essentially through the Camões - Institute for Cooperation and Language, I.P..
The Portuguese MFA’s work in this field plays a fundamental role in Portugal’s foreign policy. Promoting Portuguese as a diplomatic and scientific vehicle for international communication, preserving demand and excellence levels of teaching globally, sharing Portuguese and Lusophone culture in general, are some of the levels in which this work is developed.
Portuguese language is spoken in all inhabited continents of the world; it is the official language of more than 270 million people worldwide; it is the third most spoken European language (after English and Spanish) and one of the fastest-growing languages as a second language and business language.
The Portuguese Cultural Centres and the Portuguese Language Centres, managed by Camões, I. P., are a visible indicator of the priority given to this policy. Moreover, are the management of or support to research Chairs and the management of their physical and virtual Libraries, as well as the Coordination of the Portuguese Teaching Abroad. Camões currently has Cultural Centres in 16 countries and 69 Portuguese Language Centres in 41 countries.
These structures, which closely work with the local embassies and consulates, are central to Portugal's global dissemination and perception as a modern, progressive, mindful of both its cultural heritage and its vision for the future country.
These goals concerning language and culture promotion abroad are carried out by the MFA in close collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education and Science.