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Welcome To Portugal


 
 
 
Population: 10,562,000
Size:  35,553 sq mi
 
The country is crossed by rivers rising in Spain and flowing to the Atlantic; among them are the Douro, the Tagus, the Sado, and the Guadiana. The river valleys support agriculture, and vineyards are maintained in the Douro and Tagus valleys. On the lower hillslopes there are olive groves; grains are grown and livestock are raised on the flatter uplands as well as on the plains near the coast.
 
Portuguese agricultural techniques are less mechanized than those of most of W Europe, and less than 10% of the gross national product can be attributed to agricultural production. Wheat, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, grapes, sugar beets, and olives are the main crops; sheep, cattle, and goats are raised. The country's fishing fleets bring in vital cargoes of sardines and tuna; fishing ports extend all the way from Cape St. Vincent in the south to the mouth of the Minho River on the N Spanish border. 

In addition to light industries such as food processing and textile, chemical, and paper and pulp manufacturing, Portugal has a limited variety of heavy industries. Low-grade coal, copper pyrites, iron ore, tungsten, and other minerals are mined. Most of the mines are in the northern mountains and in Beira. Portugal's forests provide a major portion of the world's supply of cork. 

The country has enjoyed considerable economic progress since it became a member of the European Community (now the European Union) in 1986. Machinery and motor vehicles, textile fibers, petroleum, and cereals are major imports, and cotton textiles and wine as well as cork, other wood products, and fruit are major exports. European Union countries are the main trading partners.

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