The Portuguese Government, having initially thought, because of the great financial sacrifices recently imposed on the nation, not to be represented at this Exhibition, decided later on to take part, so as not to lose this opportunity to affirm Portugal's friendship with Belgium. Thus, the Portuguese Section at the International Colonial, Maritime and Flemish Art Exhibition in Antwerp, which constitutes a synthesis of the nation's colonial life and Portuguese colonial methods, will make up for the magnificence it lacks by the scope of its spiritual significance. An attempt has been made to include the navigational traditions of the Portuguese through the centuries - from the period of discoveries and conquests on the coasts of Africa and America, as well as throughout the Orient, to contemporary aerial navigation, in which glorious aviators have made their mark, such as Sacadura Cabrai and Gago Coutinho, to whom we owe the first crossing of the Atlantic using scientific navigation methods, following the example of their ancestors, the great navigators of the 15th and 16th centuries, whose heroic undertakings based on science opened up new routes in the world for humanity.
The Colonies have their own special political and economic representation, a well-documented demonstration of commercial activity and possibilities, and a widely reported means of expansion and communication. The medical and moral assistance to the natives has determined special groups where one can appreciate by eloquent testimonies the Portuguese effort in the fight against tropical diseases, the diffusion of professional and literary instruction, the organisation of regional work, the religious missionary catechesis and the equal treatment according to the same laws.
As a colonial nation par excellence, Portugal also had its scientific bodies and institutions represented, not only those exclusively colonial, but also those with overseas sections, so as to give an idea, albeit incomplete, of Portuguese colonial culture.
The major colonial organisations were also called upon to take part in the Exhibition, such as: the Banks operating overseas, the Shipping Companies, the Mozambique Sugar Company and those of great economic importance, in other words, the most representative organisations of national private action which, in a patriotic collaboration, make it possible to show the value of Portugal's colonial work.
Finally, the main items of trade between the metropolis and the colonies are exhibited, including the two world-renowned national wines - PORTO and MADERE - of which a tasting is officially part of the Portuguese Section.
© Guide Officiel - Anvers 1930